Antidepressant suicide risk in children may also extend to adults

Carl Saiontz

By Carl Saiontz
Posted December 13, 2006


Antidepressant side effects may pose a suicide danger for adults, as well as children.  The FDA is considering an expanded black box warning for medications such as Zoloft, Lexapro, Prozac and Paxil, regarding the increased the risk of suicide.

Since 2004 the FDA has required that antidepressants carry the most severe warning possible regarding the risk of antidepressant side effects increasing suicidal behavior for children and teens.  New evidence indicates that the increased risk also extends to adults under 24, and may even extend to all adults.  An FDA change would force manufacturers to warn physicians and patients of the suicide side effect for adults.  Experts are recommending that patients of all ages be carefully monitored, especially during the early use of antidepressants.

Previously the manufacturers of these medications have indicated that they are safe for adults.  However, experts have pointed out serious flaws in the research done by the pharmaceutical companies.  The antidepressant studies are unreliable since they excluded patients who were seriously suicidal.  In real life application, these high risk adult patients are usually the first to be given Zoloft, Lexapro, Prozac or Paxil.  Experts believe that more realistic antidepressant studies comparing the use of these drugs to sugar pills will demonstrate that adults also face an increased risk of suicide.

The manufacturers have previously resisted a warning for the risk of adult suicide, out of fear that it would negatively impact sales.  When prior warnings were mandated regarding the suicide risk among children, there was a steep reduction in the use of antidepressants among kids.  Failure to warn of the increased adult suicide side effects could lead to otherwise preventable deaths nationwide.

>>INFORMATION: Antidepressant side effects

Saiontz & Kirk has been reviewing potential claims for antidepressant side effects.  In addition to the increased risk of suicide , we are also reviewing potential claims for persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns (PPHN) and serotonin syndrome.  If you believe you may have a case, request a free consultation.


2 Comments • Add Your Comments

  • Patricia says:

    I amconcerned about the effects of long term use of antidepressants.
    I have been on them for a number of years for seizues ,
    from fibromyalgia pain. I have difficultty with memory, bone pain,and vision bluriness among other things

    Posted on June 17, 2009 at 5:00 pm

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