FDA Warning led to Increase in Suicide Attempts: Study

FDA Warning led to Increase in Suicide Attempts: Study

A new study has stated that federal government warnings given back in 2006 that antidepressants might raise the risk of suicidal thoughts among young people have actually led to a rise in the number of suicide attempts, instead of declining as hoped.

The study's authors say that patients and doctors got scared after the warning and avoided the medications. This resulted in teens and children suffering from acute depression and remaining all untreated.

Between 2003 and 2004, warnings were issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in which they said that antidepressants caused risk of suicidal thoughts in 1% teens and children. This warning was further expanded to young adults in 2007. A "black box" warning was given on all antidepressants to alert doctors and patients about a risk of suicidal thoughts.

In the study, conducted by authors from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, it was found that there was a decreased use of medication among kids who were using these medications even in an appropriate way.

The researchers looked into data from 11 healthcare organizations that took care of 10 million people.

It was found by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention informed that nearly 7% Americans suffer from depression and the rate of taking antidepressants decreased by 31% among adolescents.

Jeffrey A. Bridge, an Ohio State University epidemiologist, who studied the risks and benefits of pediatric antidepressant treatment, said, "Fewer children and adolescents were being diagnosed with depression after the boxed warning, too, which also may have contributed to the increased rate of suicide attempts".

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