Medication for Depression may cause suicidal tendencies

by Medindia Content Team on  February 22, 2005 at 10:43 AM General Health News   - G J E 4
Medication for Depression may cause suicidal tendencies
According to three studies published in the recent issue of British Medical Journal say that antidepressant drugs may lead to higher incidence of suicides and suicidal attempts.

Depression is characterized by a sense of foreboding, guilt, sadness, disinterest in activities, low levels of self-esteem and confidence, and in the extreme form may also manifest itself through self-harm and suicide.

Clinical depression, also known as unipolar depression is often treated with antidepressant drugs like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) by physicians. Latest research shows that these may have a worse effect on susceptible patients in increasing the attacks of suicidal thoughts. Researchers have found that there is almost a double probability of patients taking SSRIs of attempting to commit suicide than those under other forms of treatment.

Contradictorily another study has suggested that there seem to be only evidence of attempted suicides and increase in self-harm due to SSRIs and the evidence is inconclusive for suicides per se.

So although the results cannot conclusively say that SSRIs only increase the rate of suicide in patients, the doctors need to be aware that the medications may induce increased thoughts of suicide in early phases of treatment.


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