Pregnancy, Babies, Parenting News & Tips

Suicide risk doesn't differ in children taking 2 types of commonly prescribed antidepressants

By Staff Reporter / Jan 07, 2014 11:35 AM EST
  • Suicide risk doesn't differ in children taking 2 types of commonly prescribed antidepressants
  • (Photo : Flickr) Suicide risk doesn't differ in children taking 2 types of commonly prescribed antidepressants

A Vanderbilt University Medical Center study released today shows there is no evidence that the risk of suicide differs with two commonly prescribed antidepressants prescribed to children and adolescents.

The population-based study, published today in the journal Pediatrics, tracked children and adolescents who recently began taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).

Like Us on Facebook

For the past decade parents and health care professionals have worried that children and adolescents treated with antidepressant medications might be at increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior.

In 2004 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicine Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency issued public warnings about the increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior in children and adolescents treated with certain antidepressant medications, and required that a boxed "black box" warning be added to package inserts for antidepressants.

Because antidepressants differ in their characteristics, including effects on neurotransmitters, it has also been believed that the risk of suicidal behavior for individual medications might differ.

"It is important to study this group of children and adolescents because many children are treated with these medications in the U.S. each year and we need to understand the differential risks for suicide attempts and completed suicides," said study author William Cooper, M.D., MPH, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Pediatrics and professor of Health Policy.

SSRIs, like fluoxetine, are the most widely used antidepressants/antianxiety drugs, slowing down the rate at which serotonin, an important signaling molecule in the brain, is broken down. An SNRI, like sertraline, is a newer type of antidepressant that does the same thing for another important chemical, noradrenaline, as well as serotonin.

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is common in children and adolescents and has significant negative impacts on children's development, functioning and risk for suicide, Cooper said. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds and the sixth leading cause of death for 5-14 year olds.

The Vanderbilt study reviewed the medical records of 36,842 children 6 to 18 years old enrolled in Medicaid between 1995 and 2006 who were new users of one of the antidepressant medications of interest. Of those studied 415 had a medically treated suicide attempt, including four who completed suicide.

Of those included in the study, 47.4 percent had a diagnosis of MDD and one-fourth had a diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Other common psychiatric conditions among the cohort members included conduct disorder and anxiety.

The study was not designed to compare the risk for suicide attempts for antidepressant users compared with non-users.

"These findings provide important information about the relative risks of the more recently approved antidepressants to help guide decision making by patients, their families and their providers," Cooper said. "But more research is needed to understand other safety aspects of medications used to treat children so that families and providers can make informed decisions."

Provided by Vanderbilt University Medical Center

'Fast and Furious 7' Actress Jordana Brewster is 'Deeper In Love' with Son Julian

"Fast and the Furious 7" actress Jordana Brewster is revelling in the joy of motherhood. People reported that the actress has come to embrace both her strengths and imperfections as mom to 18-month old, Julian.

Read More »

Mom's 'Permanently Flabby' Bikini Body is a 'Blessing'? 'I Was Blessed Enough to Carry My Babies'

A mother of three, 32-year old Rachel Hollis proved to the world that mothers should not be ashamed of their post-baby bodies no matter what happens.

Read More »

6 Child-Friendly Restaurants in USA

Eating in restaurants is one of kids' favorite pastimes. Children delight in exploring surroundings outside their homes while enjoying good food and fortunately, America is home to several restaurants that cater to kids' gourmet fancies in every way possible.

Read More »

Zayn Malik Leaves One Direction; Child Depression May Result - 7 Ways to Help Your Kid

Just like adults, children are also prone to depression. Sometimes, kids get depressed about the personal lives of the celebrities they idolizes. Take for instance, Zayn Malik's departure from the famous boy band, One Direction.

Read More »

8 Clever Design Ideas on Decorating Your Table for Easter Brunch

Easter Sunday celebrates Christ's resurrection from the dead. On this day, families gather to appreciate the selfless deeds Christ has done for humankind. In addition to spiritual commemorations, meal brunches are traditions in many homes during Easter, as well.

Read More »

Carrie Underwood Buys Fruits & Vegetables to Help Lose Baby Weight

New mom and "American Idol" winner, Carrie Underwood, might just let you in on a secret in losing that baby weight. Enstarz reported that the singer was seen recently in Franklin, Tennessee looking slim less than one month after giving birth.

Read More »

'Fast & Furious 7' Ride Opens in Universal Studios

The April 3 release of "Fast and the Furious 7" will come in time as the film's ride version is going to be set for a grand launch on June 25.

Read More »

Spring 2015 Cleaning Checklist: Hire a Pro Cleaner

When the kids were out and about in school, you hardly had any time for yourself. Spring means finally being available to catch up on doing things you previously missed.

Read More »

6 Home Design Ideas That Are Best for Your Family

Your family always comes first when it comes to nurturing your home. For this reason, designing your home in ways that will make daily living convenient to your entire family is a must.

Read More »

6 Cheap Kitchen Design Ideas 2015

Your kitchen is more than just a place in your home for good food. Indulging in your sumptuous meals in a desirable environment where good ambience abounds is equally important, too.

Read More »

'Fast and Furious 7' Cast Vin Diesel Names Daughter After Paul Walker; Name Revealed Here

Vin Diesel's new bundle of joy's name has been announced! E! Online reported that the "Fast and the Furious" series star named his newborn daughter after the late Paul Walker.

Read More »

Taylor Swift Corrects Princeton Review Test for Wrong Lyrics

"Style" singer, Taylor Swift, is in the know about what others have to say about her music. The talented singer smartly defended her lyrics against a Princeton test review publication, as reported in US Magazine.

Read More »

Real Time Analytics