The antidepressant Seroxat has been linked to increased suicide attempts among adults and it has been suggested that appropriate warning should be given to doctors and patients regarding this peculiar adverse effect of the drug.
The drug has already been banned for use in children and adolescents due to an increased risk of self-harm. The above study was conducted in a group of 916 adults out of whom seven attempted to end their life. The results have also been compared with a group of 550 patients under placebo where the suicidal rate was significantly less.
It has therefore been concluded that the recommendation of restrictions in the use of paroxetine (Seroxat) in children and adolescents ... should be extended to adults as well. Seroxat is a Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor (SSRI) and about 20 million people around the world are dependent on the medication.
A general agreement has been reached that a modest increase in the risk of suicidal thoughts and self-harm for SSRIs could not be ruled out. However, the drug may be used in adults if the benefits outweigh the risks.
At this stage, it's not clear what method the researchers have used to arrive at these numbers or which clinical trials they have selected. However, it can be said that these conclusions in no way reflect the picture that has been built up about the benefits and risks of paroxetine in adults through an extensive clinical trials programme involving 24,000 patients, or through the use of this medicine in tens of millions of people around the world.