Antidepressants such as Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft, prescribed to the elderly, has shown a tendency of inducing suicidal thoughts in its recipients, especially in the first month of its use, as compared to other types of medication to treat depression.
Earlier studies had shown the prevalence of suicidal tendencies amongst children and teenagers prescribed drugs, called as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. But there has not been much research on its effects on the senior category of patients.
David Juurlink, lead author of the study by Toronto's Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences said, "Suicides are more common in older people. Older people tend to use more violent means, which is why they succeed more often than teenagers, who often use overdoses."
Researchers analyzed 1142 suicides that took place between 1992 and 2000, primarily to ascertain whether the victims had prescribed anti depressants. The study found that a majority of those who had killed themselves had not been prescribed antidepressants, and those who were prescribed, seemed to portray a suicide risk that was five times more pronounced during the first month of taking the SSRI drug than compared to other antidepressants.
SSRI was also found to be connected to the use of aggressive methods to kill oneself, that did not exclude the use of firearms, jumping from heights and hanging.