[Antidepressive agents and suicidal tendencies]

Nervenarzt. 2014 Sep;85(9):1108-16. doi: 10.1007/s00115-014-4092-9.
[Article in German]


In the last 2 years the discussions on the question whether antidepressants, especially selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can lead to suicidality, aggression and violence, flared up again. The available data on the problem, which has been discussed since the introduction of this substance group in the late 1980s, is presented in this article. A systematic literature search showed that a scientific consensus exists that the benefits of antidepressant pharmacotherapy in general, and of treatment with SSRIs and selective serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs) in particular, outweigh the risks of their use. This also applies to the treatment of children, adolescents and young adults. The agitation occasionally occurring at the beginning of treatment, which can be experienced as aversive in susceptible patients, can intensify or even trigger suicidal thoughts or impulses. This has to be paid particular attention to especially at the beginning of treatment. It is recommended that the indications for antidepressant pharmacotherapy of children, adolescents and young adults are assessed by a specialist.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Comorbidity
  • Depression / drug therapy*
  • Depression / mortality*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Internationality
  • Risk Factors
  • Suicidal Ideation*
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antidepressive Agents