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The Suicide/Antidepressant Link in Adults

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Author: Jeannine Virtue

The FDA has acknowledged the link between antidepressants and the increased risk of suicide in children, adolescents and adults are also at risk for suicidal thoughts and actions while taking SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressants.

In 2004 the FDA acknowledged the suicide/antidepressant link with children and now requires "Black Box" labeling to alert parents of the harm that can befall their child while taking antidepressants. That warning has now spread to all age groups. The FDA has now issued a Public Health Advisory (PHA) calling for an update to health care providers and patients about the recent scientific research and publications that there is an increased risk of suicidal thought and behaviors in adults taking antidepressant medication.

The FDA, using a similar approach that was used in the evaluation of the risks of increased suicidal thoughts and behaviors in their pediatric studies, requested that manufacturers of antidepressants drugs provide doctors with information from their drug trials.

In accordance with the 2nd FDA warning the Public Health Advisory advises patients and health care providers be aware of the following:

_ Close observation of adults may be especially important when antidepressant medications are started for the first time or when doses for the specific drugs prescribed have been changed.

_ Adults being treated with antidepressant medicines, particularly those being treated for depression, should be watched closely for worsening of depression and for increased suicidal thinking or behavior.

_ Adults whose symptoms worsen while being treated with antidepressants, including an increase in suicidal thinking or behavior, should be evaluated by their health care professional.

The above recommendations are also consistent with the existing warnings that are in the approved labeling, or package insert, for antidepressant medications.

Antidepressants have their place but it is our belief that other options should be exercised before resorting to the potentially dangerous drugs. There are many options in between the wide gap between doing nothing and taking antidepressant medication. In dealing with depression, diet and exercise changes are highly beneficial. Herbal and homeopathic remedies can also offer valuable help in the battle against depression.

About the author

Jeannine Virtue is a freelance writer who focuses on health related issues. For information about effective and natural treatments for Attention Deficit Disorder and Depression in adults and children, visit the Attention Deficit Disorder Help Center at

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