SSRIs and Suicide

The FDA issued a warning concerning antidepressants (including SSRIs) and suicide in children and teenagers. In clinical studies, there was a slightly increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior in children and teenagers who took antidepressants, including SSRIs. However, it is difficult to know for sure if the suicidal behavior was due to the antidepressants or the condition itself. People with bipolar disorder and those who have previously attempted suicide are among those most at risk for suicidal behavior with an SSRI.

An Overview of SSRIs and Suicide

SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are prescription medications used for the treatment of depression and a number of other conditions of the brain. As with all antidepressants, there may be an increased risk of suicidal behavior when taking SSRIs.

SSRIs and Suicide: FDA Warning

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a special warning about the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior with antidepressant use in children and teenagers. The warning was issued due to concerns that antidepressants seemed to increase the risk of suicidal behavior in children and teenagers in clinical studies.
Only two SSRIs are approved for use in children or teens: fluvoxamine (Luvox®) and fluoxetine (Prozac®). Fluovoxamine is approved for children age eight and up with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Fluoxetine is approved for children age eight and up for depression and age seven and up for OCD.
Although other SSRIs are not approved for use in children and teenagers, they may be used "off-label" for these age groups.
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