Background: Previous reports of suicide risk in patients with anxiety disorders have been inconsistent.
Methods: Using the FDA database, we assessed suicide and suicide attempt risk among patients, participating in recent clinical trials evaluating new anti-anxiety medications, with diagnosis of panic disorder (PD), social anxiety disorder or social phobia (SP), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
Results: Overall, among 20076 participating anxious patients, 12 committed suicide and 28 attempted suicide. The annual suicide risk rate was 193/100000 patients and annual suicide attempt risk was 1350/100000 patients.
Limitations: Clinical trial data have limited applicability to clinical practice. Participants in clinical trials are a highly selected, nonrepresentative sample of the clinical population. A number of patients never complete clinical trials and thus data are based on a limited sub-sample. These trials were not primarily designed to assess suicide risk.
Conclusions: Suicide risk in patients with anxiety disorders is higher than previously thought. Patients with anxiety disorders warrant explicit evaluation for suicide risk.