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A 30-year-old member asked:

Can anti-depression medications cause suicidal thoughts?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Emily Lu
Dr. Emily Luanswered
Family Medicine 7 years experience
In young patients: Anti-depressant medications like Prozac (fluoxetine) have been found to increase suicidal thoughts and behaviors in children and adolescents under the age of 25, especially when they start this medication. This trend is not seen in adults over the age of 25 and anti-depressants may decrease suicidal behavior in older adults over 65.
Dr. Donald Hazlett
Psychiatry 54 years experience
Other studies brought that conclusion into serious question. No suicides occured in the initial study population. Older studies actually showed decreased rates of suicide in the population given newer antidepressants. A 2003 study reported lowered suicide rates in age 10 -19 with a 1% increase in antidepressant use that year. Black box warnings may hinder best care by less use of antidepressants.
Nov 23, 2011
Dr. William Holmes
Child Psychiatry 34 years experience
Sometimes: Increased suicidal thinking has been noted as a possible side effect of antidepressant medications for decades. This is a relatively rare side effect, but it does happen. There has been concern in the past few years that kids are at an increased risk. The best evidence is that there is an increased risk of this side effect with kids, but antidepressants can be used with kids with good monitoring.

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Last updated Oct 4, 2016
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