Monday, March 22, 2004


The FDA finally issues a suicide caution for anti-depressant use not just for children but also for adolescents and adults.

FDA site has more links.

The drugs at issue:
    The drugs that are the focus of this new Warning Statement include: Prozac (fluoxetine); Zoloft (sertraline); Paxil (paroxetine); Luvox (fluvoxamine); Celexa (citalopram); Lexapro (escitalopram); Wellbutrin (bupropion); Effexor (venlafaxine); Serzone (nefazodone); and Remeron (mirtazapine).
What to do? FDA does have a Q & A sheet. Gist is: continue the meds but please consult your doctor if any questions or changes in status.
Adding this:
    It isn't clear yet that the drugs actually do lead to suicide, the FDA stressed. After all, depression itself can lead to suicide.

    But until that is settled, advisers to the FDA called last month for stronger warnings to doctors and parents that the antidepressants may cause agitation, anxiety and hostility in a subset of patients who may be unusually prone to rare side effects.

    On Monday, the FDA followed its advisers' recommendation and issued a public health advisory putting doctors, patients, families and other caregivers on notice to be particularly vigilant for signs of worsening depression or suicidal thoughts at the beginning of anti-depressant therapy or whenever the dose is changed.