Thursday, September 4, 2008

National Suicide Week Is Sept. 7-13 With No Help From the FDA

The September 3rd Wall Street Journal article “Elevated Rise of Teen Suicide Stirs Concern” by Sarah Rubenstein made me see red. Here’s a paragraph from the article:

The rise in suicides coincided with Food and Drug Administration advisories about antidepressants that led to an October 2004 decision to require strong “black box” warning on all antidepressants’ labels.

Hello, what did anyone think was going to happen after the FDA required “black box” warnings on antidepressant labels, scaring parents who took their children off the medication?

I’m going to provide the pull-out box from the Journal article because the information in the box is so revealing:

· 1990-2003: The suicide rate for people 10 to 24 years old slid more than 28%.

· 2003-2004: The FDA issued advisories on antidepressants and required “black box” warnings on labels

· 2003-2004: The suicide rate for young people rose 8%.

· 2004-2005: The teen suicide rate slipped but remained elevated.

In my opinion it was criminal of the FDA to suggest that teen suicides were on a rise due to antidepressants, conveniently overlooking the fact that people who take antidepressant medication often take it because they are already suicidal.

I hope that any parents who yanked their children off antidepressants because of the FDA’s advisories have now taken their children to be re-evaluated by a mental health professional and have re-considered medication.

On the bright side of National Suicide Week, read my blog post at for some reassuring news about the U.S Army’s new approach to preventing suicides.

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