The FDA has warned for more than a decade that anti-depressant drugs cause an increased risk of suicidal thinking, feeling, and behavior in people under the age of 25. But now a new study from Sweden has correlated increased use of anti-depressants with an increase in “completed” suicides, ie deaths. The researchers conclude “The previous assumptions that treatment with antidepressants would lead to a drastic reduction in suicide rates, are incorrect for the population of young women. On the contrary, it was found that an increasing tendency of completed suicides follow the increased prescription of antidepressants.”
The message is a common one. The dangers of new drugs are portrayed as mild after clinical trials. But once in clinical use the adverse events are seen to be progressively worse over time: as exemplified by a recent study showing an increased overall death rate with anti-depressants that I will address on our Facebook page next week, and now this study on suicides. It is also worth remembering that powerful economic forces favor the increased use of these and all drugs. The increased spread of prescription drugs to children is particularly disturbing. And once started these drugs can be very difficult to stop. Non pharmaceutical approaches are always better if possible. Do your own research and bring it to your physician when making a decision as to treatment. Drugs may seem to be the easy way out, but as with most easy answers, there is often a catch.