Monday, January 02, 2006

Antidepressants do decrease suicide risk

After many reports of how anti-depressants could increase the risk of suicide, this study finds the opposite:

The study also found that newer antidepressants were associated with a faster decline in rates of suicidal behaviour than older drugs. Among the 65,103 patients taking antidepressants, there were 31 completed suicides in the six months following the antidepressant prescription.That rate was not higher in the one month after the prescription than in subsequent months. In the case of adolescents, the researchers found that teenagers had tried to commit suicide more often than adults. They found that the rate for the first six months of antidepressant treatment was 314 attempts per 100,000 in teens while in adults it was 78 attempts per 100,000.As with adults, the rate was highest in the month before treatment and declined by about 60 percent after treatment began.

Hopefully, this information will spread to those people who stopped or avoided treatment because of the reports that suicide attempts increased instead of decreased. This study was longer with a much much larger group than those that showed the opposite. More details are explained in this Rueters article.

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