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Antidepressant treatment is associated with a reduction in suicidal ideation and suicide attempts

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Mulder RT, Joyce PR, Frampton CMA, Luty SE. Antidepressant treatment is associated with a reduction in suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. Objective: 

To measure changes in suicidal behaviours during 6 months of treatment with antidepressants. Method: 

A group of depressed patients (n = 195) were assessed for suicidal behaviours in the 6 months prior to treatment. They were prospectively assessed for suicidal behaviours during 6 months of treatment with antidepressants. Results: 

Patients who made suicide attempts fell from 39 in the 6 months prior to treatment to 20 during treatment. Significant suicidal ideation reduced from 47% at baseline to 14% at 3 weeks remaining below this during the rest of the treatment. Twenty patients had emergent suicidal ideation; five of them had not experienced some level of suicidal behaviour in the 6 months prior to treatment. Conclusion: 

Suicide behaviours are common in depressed out-patients. Antidepressant treatment is associated with a rapid and significant reduction in suicidal behaviours. The rate of emergent suicidal behaviour was low and the risk benefit ratio for antidepressants appears to favour their use.
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Keywords: antidepressants; depression; suicide behaviours

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-08-01

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