Thursday, November 02, 2006

Fluoxetine and Self-Harm in Kids

In an article titled "Suicidal behaviour in youths with depression treated with new-generation antidepressants," Dubicka & Hadley, in the latest British Journal of Psychiatry found that fluoxetine was associated with greater risk for self-harm and suicidal thoughts. Not a huge risk in comparison with placebo but any increase should be of concern. Link to abstract here though it is also reproduced below...

Background Concern exists that antidepressants can cause suicidality in youths with depression.

Aims To determine the pooled risk of self-harm and suicidal behaviour from randomised trials of newer antidepressants.

Method A meta-analysis was carried out to calculate odds ratios for the combined data.

Results Self-harm or suicide-related events occurred in 71 of 1487 (4.8%) of depressed youths treated with antidepressants v. 38 of 1254 (3.0%) of those given placebo (fixed effects odds ratio 1.70, 95% CI 1.13–2.54, P=0.01). There was a trend for individual suicidal thoughts, attempts and self-harm to occur more often in youths taking antidepressants than in those given placebo, but none of these differences was statistically significant.

Conclusions Antidepressants may cause a small short-term risk of self-harm or suicidal events in children and adolescents with major depressive disorder.

Not surprising results given other research on the topic, such as this, this, this, and this.

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