New Study Says Antidepressants Double Suicide Risk In Teens & Children

An investigation that compared antidepressants clinical studies and their published studies found that their published studies excluded suicide, suicidal thoughts and increased aggressive behavior as a listed side effect.


A recent investigation that compared antidepressants clinical studies and their published studies found that their published studies excluded suicide, suicidal thoughts and increased aggressive behavior as a listed side effect.


Up until recently, Jan. 27, a published analysis stated the risks of suicide and increased aggression doubled for children and teens who take one of the five common antidepressants. Previously published drug trial results, didn’t justly display the risks of suicide and suicidal thoughts and examples of increased aggression.


“For me, the biggest lesson was never to trust a journal publication of a trial again,” said Tarang Sharma, a researcher with the Nordic Cochrane Centre at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. “We all need to move towards developing guidance and doing systematic reviews using the original complete data, at the individual patient level.”


Sharma and a team of researchers investigated the accumulating reports of aggressive and suicidal behavior from children taking two types of antidepressants; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). In this study, Sharma studied data from the clinical studies required for drug approval that are government regulated.


After creating a conclusion from these studies’ data, her and her team compared that against the drug’s published medical journals.


Sharma’s team found that the antidepressants taken by children had an increased risk of death, suicide attempts, suicidal thoughts, aggressive behavior and akathisia, a type of restlessness that can increase suicide and violence. Their conclusion wasn’t reported in earlier published studies.


“Doctors should be more cautious about prescribing to everyone and to young people especially, and regulators should put a warning on drug labels about aggressive behavior as well as suicide,” said Joanna Moncrieff, a senior lecturer of psychiatry.


Also, within previously published studies, mentions of suicide attempts and thoughts were relabeled as “emotional lability” or “worsening of depression.” Sharma indicated that this was downplaying the seriousness of the drug’s side effects.


“No one should stop taking their antidepressants suddenly, that would be very dangerous,” Sharma said. “In my view, patients and their families should work with their clinical professionals to plan a stopping strategy, which could be a very long process as many people have long lasting withdrawal effects from the drugs. This should also be done in combination with starting other effective alternative therapies.”


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