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Comparative Study
, 160 (4), 790-2

Suicide Rates in Clinical Trials of SSRIs, Other Antidepressants, and Placebo: Analysis of FDA Reports

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Comparative Study

Suicide Rates in Clinical Trials of SSRIs, Other Antidepressants, and Placebo: Analysis of FDA Reports

Arif Khan et al. Am J Psychiatry.

Abstract

Objective: Previous reports suggesting that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) use is associated with increased suicidal risk have not assessed completed suicides. The authors analyzed reports from randomized controlled trials to compare suicide rates among depressed patients assigned to an SSRI, other antidepressants, or placebo.

Method: Food and Drug Administration (FDA) summary reports of the controlled clinical trials for nine modern FDA-approved antidepressants provided data for comparing rates of suicide.

Results: Of 48,277 depressed patients participating in the trials, 77 committed suicide. Based on patient exposure years, similar suicide rates were seen among those randomly assigned to an SSRI (0.59%, 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.31%-0.87%), a standard comparison antidepressant (0.76%, 95% CI=0.49%-1.03%), or placebo (0.45%, 95% CI=0.01%-0.89%).

Conclusions: These findings fail to support either an overall difference in suicide risk between antidepressant- and placebo-treated depressed subjects in controlled trials or a difference between SSRIs and either other types of antidepressants or placebo.

Comment in

  • Suicide Risk Not Increased With SSRI Antidepressants
    P Ham. J Fam Pract 52 (8), 587-8. PMID 12899805.
    Depressed adult patients are no more likely to commit suicide while taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) than any other class of antidepressants. The lo …

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