Results of a new study reinforce previous analyses that show increased suicide attempts and completed suicides among children and adolescents treated for depression. Adults do not appear to share this increased risk.
The results showed that children and adolescents treated with an antidepressant drug were significantly more likely to attempt suicide than those who were not (OR 1.52). However, the relationship was significant only among white children and adolescents, but not among minority patients.
The results also showed that children and adolescents who completed suicide were significantly more likely to have been treated with antidepressants (OR, 15.62). However, Dr. Olfson’s group urges caution in interpreting this finding, since it is based on only 8 suicide deaths.
No such association was observed among adults.
“These findings support careful clinical monitoring during antidepressant drug treatment of severely depressed young people,” the team concludes.
This article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #11.
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