Paxil Raises Suicide Risk
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced in 2004 that antidepressants were linked to an increase in suicidal thoughts and behavior in children and young adults. Now, GlaxoSmithKline is sending doctors their own warning about an increased risk of suicide attempts in adults taking their antidepressant, Paxil.
The Glaxo study is the first conducted by a drug company to find a link between antidepressants and suicide risks in adults.
The study found:
- Out of 3,455 people taking Paxil, eleven attempted suicide.
- Only one person out of 1,978 patients taking a placebo attempted suicide.
- The people who attempted suicide were between the ages 18 to 30.
- There was no increased risk of suicide in people over 30.
The FDA recommends doctors carefully monitor adults taking antidepressants for signs of increased suicidal thinking or behavior and depression. GlaxoSmithKline has changed Paxil’s label to reflect the findings, but says data shows the benefits of the drug outweigh the risks for people with depression.
Source: “An Antidepressant Is Found to Raise Adult Suicide Risk.” By Benedict Carey and Gardiner Harris. The Wall Street Journal. May 12, 2006.