Numerous studies have shown that suicidal thoughts and behaviors may accompany use of antidepressants by children and adolescents. However, variations in risk among individual medications are unknown.
A new study compared various selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant medications and found no significant differences among them in the risk of suicide attempts or suicides.
The article, “Comparative Safety of Antidepressant Agents for Children and Adolescents Regarding Suicidal Acts,” will be published in the May issue of Pediatrics.
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors were not investigated because of the small number of exposed subjects.
A total of 20,906 children between the ages of 10 to 18 years of age with a diagnosis of depression were observed over a 9-year period.
During the first year of use, study authors identified 266 attempted and 3 completed suicides, but no meaningful differences between SSRI antidepressant agents.
This analysis supports the decision of the Food and Drug Administration to include all antidepressants in the black box warning regarding increased suicide risk for children and adolescents after initiation of antidepressant medication use.
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics