New study finds a & # 39; rare but serious & # 39; risk of suicide for patients with antidepressants

Taking antidepressants increases the risk of suicide, a study suggests.

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Experts warned last night that patients should be told about the dangers before they start taking the pills.

The study found that depressed people were more than twice as likely to commit suicide as comparable patients who did not use them.

About seven million adults in England took the drugs in 2016/17. The researchers believe that for some, the chemicals in the pills can cause severe agitation, restlessness and even psychotic episodes [file photo]

About seven million adults in England took the drugs in 2016/17. The researchers believe that for some, the chemicals in the pills can cause severe agitation, restlessness and even psychotic episodes [file photo]

Study leader Dr. Michael Hengartner, from the University of Zurich in Switzerland, said: & We can trust that these drugs produce an excess of suicides beyond the depression itself.

& # 39; There is no doubt that this should be a response to the pharmacological effect of the drugs themselves. & # 39;

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Although the increased risk seems grim, the researchers actually calculated only 77 extra suicides per 100,000 patients who took the pills.

Taking antidepressants increases the risk of suicide, a study suggests. Experts warned last night that patients should be told about the dangers before they start taking the pills [file photo]

Taking antidepressants increases the risk of suicide, a study suggests. Experts warned last night that patients should be told about the dangers before they start taking the pills [file photo]

Taking antidepressants increases the risk of suicide, a study suggests. Experts warned last night that patients should be told about the dangers before they start taking the pills [file photo]

Scientists recognize that antidepressants are a lifeline for many people.

But with more patients in Britain than with almost all other Western countries, many doctors think millions are being compromised.

About seven million adults in England took the drugs in 2016/17. The researchers believe that for some, the chemicals in the pills can cause severe agitation, restlessness, and even psychotic episodes.

Dr. Hengartner added: “I am not saying that nobody should get antidepressants, but doctors need to be much more conservative about how they use them. One in six adults receives antidepressants like in the UK – that is alarming.

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& # 39; Patients must be informed of & # 39; s risks and must be monitored. & # 39;

The study found that people prescribed antidepressants were 2.5 times more likely to commit suicide than depressed people who took placebo pills.

Last month, the Royal College of Psychiatrists recognized for the first time that the release of the pills can lead to serious side effects that last for months - with the most severely affected nausea, anxiety and insomnia [file photo]

Last month, the Royal College of Psychiatrists recognized for the first time that the release of the pills can lead to serious side effects that last for months - with the most severely affected nausea, anxiety and insomnia [file photo]

Last month, the Royal College of Psychiatrists recognized for the first time that the release of the pills can lead to serious side effects that last for months – with the most severely affected nausea, anxiety and insomnia [file photo]

The study, published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, combined the results of 14 studies in which nearly 32,000 people used a variety of antidepressants.

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The authors emphasized that the increase in risk was small in real terms, and calculated that for every 100,000 who took the pills there would be an additional 413 suicide attempts and an additional 77 suicides. But in England this can add up to thousands of extra suicides.

The highest risk was established in the first four weeks after the start of treatment.

Dr. Hengartner said: & # 39; Our study identifies a rare but serious risk that should be brought to the attention of practitioners, especially when antidepressants are started or stopped. & # 39;

Psychotherapist Dr. James Davies, from the University of Roehampton, said: & # 39; Antidepressants are known to increase the risk of suicide in young people and adolescents, and therefore their use is limited in these patient groups.

& # 39; However, this study indicates that similar risks also occur in some adults.

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& # 39; This new evidence must be reviewed by regulators, reflected in clinical guidelines, and discussed in conversations between doctors and their patients. & # 39;

Although the increased risk seems grim, the researchers actually calculated only 77 extra suicides per 100,000 patients who took the pills. Scientists recognize that antidepressants are a lifeline for many people

Although the increased risk seems grim, the researchers actually calculated only 77 extra suicides per 100,000 patients who took the pills. Scientists recognize that antidepressants are a lifeline for many people

Although the increased risk seems grim, the researchers actually calculated only 77 extra suicides per 100,000 patients who took the pills. Scientists recognize that antidepressants are a lifeline for many people

Professor Wendy Burn, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, pointed out that the study was based on American data and that four of the 14 medicines evaluated are not available in the UK.

But she added: & # 39; This is an important issue that we need to understand better. As with all medications, we must weigh the potential benefits and risks of damage against starting, continuing, and stopping its use.

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& # 39; It is vital that people who prescribe antidepressants are closely monitored, made aware of possible side effects, and know how to seek help if they experience it. & # 39;

Last month, the Royal College of Psychiatrists recognized for the first time that the release of the pills can cause serious side effects that drag on for months – with the most severely affected nausea, anxiety and insomnia.

And two weeks ago the European Medicines Agency issued guidelines suggesting that the most common pills – selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs – can cause long-term loss of sexual function.

I wish someone had warned me about side effects

Miss Williams, 27, from Featherstone in West Yorkshire, noticed that she was struggling with increasing fear

Miss Williams, 27, from Featherstone in West Yorkshire, noticed that she was struggling with increasing fear

Miss Williams, 27, from Featherstone in West Yorkshire, noticed that she was struggling with increasing fear

Barely a day after her dose of antidepressants increased, Steph Williams began to hear a voice say: & # 39; That's all, we've had enough. & # 39;

She said: & # 39; I started investigating suicide. & # 39;

She had received the medicine citalopram two months earlier, in 2016. Her doctor started taking her at 10 mg per day before the dose was increased to 20 mg.

Miss Williams, 27, from Featherstone in West Yorkshire, noticed that she was struggling with increasing fear.

& # 39; I felt a constant need to move, I walked across the floor from morning to night, & # 39; she said.

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The nail technician, whose husband was in the army, lived in Newquay, Cornwall when her concerned parents drove over to take her home.

She said: & # 39; My parents lived near a railroad bridge and I would stand out. & # 39;

Her life was saved, she said, because one of her parents was constantly with her the following year.

Although Miss Williams, in the photo, still uses medication, she has improved in recent years thanks to counseling, she added.

She is divorced in 2017. The marriage, she said, was a victim of her illness.

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& # 39; I wish someone had warned me how dangerous these drugs can be, & # 39; she said.

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