Suicidal behavior in adults taking anti-depressants does not increase or decrease depending on what medication they are on, according to a study released Monday.
"There was no clinically meaningful difference in risk among individuals taking different classes of medications," said researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in the study published in the May issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.
"Our finding of equal event rates across anti-depressant agents supports the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) decision to treat all anti-depressants alike in their advisory," it said.
"Treatment decisions should be based on efficacy, and clinicians should be vigilant in monitoring after initiating therapy with any anti-depressant agent."
For the study, researchers examined the medical data of 287,543 adults in British Columbia, Canada, who began anti-depressant therapy between 1997 and 2005. During the first year of treatment, 751 people in the study attempted to commit suicide and 104 people carried it out.
"Despite the widespread use of anti-depressant medications... there is inconsistent evidence that growth in anti-depressant use has reduced the prevalence of suicidal ideation or suicide attempts during the past decade," said the study.
In October 2004, the researchers said, the FDA warned of potentially increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors among children and adolescents taking anti-depressants, but subsequent research found no increased risk for adult anti-depressant users.
"Treatment decisions should be based on efficacy, and clinicians should be vigilant in monitoring after initiating therapy with any anti-depressant agent," they said.