FDA Warnings May Cause More Suicides

    MIAMI, FL - MARCH 23: A bottle of anti-depressant pills named Paxil are shown March 23, 2004 photographed in Miami, Florida. The Food and Drug Administration asked makers of popular anti-depressants to add or strengthen suicide-related warnings on their labels as well as the possibility of worsening depression especially at the beginning of treatment or when the doses are increased or decreased.  (Photo Illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

    Joe Raedle

    A study published Wednesday argues that government warnings about the risks for young people taking antidepressants may have resulted in more suicides. The study claims that an unintended consequence of the warnings was that depressed young people were discouraged from seeking treatment, which led to an increase in suicide attempts. In 2003 and 2004, the Food and Drug Administration had warned the public that data showed more suicidal thoughts in children and adolescents prescribed SSRIs, and told manufacturers to put a “black-box” warning on labels describing the risk. Researchers in the study said that the ensuing publicity focused on the small number of patients who had increased suicidal thoughts, and overshadowed those who benefited. As a result, the study says, prescriptions dropped precipitously, and the number of suicide attempts grew by more than 20 percent in adolescents and one-third in young adults.

    Read it at The Washington Post