So Does Pexeva Cause Suicides?
In short-duration clinical studies, it did appear that there was a slightly increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior (called suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults who took antidepressants
, including Pexeva
. In one study, about 4 percent of children, adolescents, and young adults taking an antidepressant had suicidal thoughts or behavior, compared to 2 percent who were not taking an antidepressant.
This increased risk for suicidality was not seen in other age groups. In fact, no increased risk was seen in people over the age of 24, while people aged 65 and older appeared to have a lower risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors when treated with an antidepressant.
The FDA-reviewed antidepressant studies looked at all suicidal behaviors, including suicides, attempted suicides, and thoughts about committing suicide. The term "suicidality" describes thoughts and behaviors related to suicide -- it is not the same as completed suicide. It is important to note that none of the children or adolescents in the FDA-reviewed studies actually committed suicide.
It is difficult to know for sure if antidepressants such as Pexeva cause suicidal thoughts and behavior. To make matters more confusing, depression
and other mental health problems can cause these problems. Either way, you should report any signs of suicidal behavior to your healthcare provider, regardless of whether you are taking an antidepressant.
Certain people seem to be at higher risk for suicidal behavior while taking antidepressants. This includes people with bipolar disorder
(or a family history of bipolar
disorder) and people who have attempted suicide (or have a family history of suicide attempts).
Suggestions for Reducing the Risk of Suicide
When you (or your child or loved one) start taking an antidepressant, or when the dose is increased, your healthcare provider should monitor you (or your child or loved one) carefully for any signs of suicidal thoughts and behavior. Contact your healthcare provider right away if any of the following occur:
- Thoughts about death or committing suicide
- Suicide attempts
- Depression or anxiety that is new or worse
- Agitation, restlessness, or panic attacks
- Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
- Irritability that is new or worse
- Aggressive, angry, or violent behavior
- Acting on dangerous impulses
- Unusually increased talking or activity
- Other strange changes in mood or behavior.
Also, contact your healthcare provider if you notice any other behaviors that concern you. Do not stop taking an antidepressant without first talking to your healthcare provider. Stopping an antidepressant suddenly may cause other potentially dangerous reactions, including worsening depression.
Depression is a treatable illness. Be sure to discuss the risks and benefits of using Pexeva (especially in children, adolescents, and young adults) with your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider can discuss all the available treatment options with you, and may be able to recommend other options for depression treatment