Researchers Link High Doses of Antidepressants to Suicidal Behavior
According to FOX News, researchers have determined that children and young adults who started antidepressant therapy at high doses were twice as likely exhibit suicidal behavior than those who began treatment at doses normally recommended by doctor’s guidelines.
About the Antidepressant Study
“There is no evidence that starting at a higher dose is beneficial.” – Dr. David Brent as published by FOX News
During the study, researcher analyzed data gathered from 163,000 people between the ages of 10 and 64 diagnosed with depressions.
Of patients between the ages of 10 and 24, roughly 18 percent were prescribed doses higher than what is typically recommended by doctor's guidelines; however, the study did not analyze why the higher dose rates were prescribed.
What the study was able to determine is that young people between the ages 10 and 24 who began antidepressant therapy at higher doses were twice as likely to think about or attempt suicide during the initial 90 days of treatment as patients who had started at average dose levels.
According to the researchers, this is the equivalent of one additional event of suicidal behavior for every 150 patients taking high doses of antidepressants.
Age Group Already at Increased Risk of Suicide
The study’s findings are even more alarming when viewed next to national suicide averages.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently lists suicide as the third leading cause of death among young people between the ages of 10 and 24.
Every year, roughly 157,000 people between 10 and 24 visit the ER to receive treatment for injuries caused by suicidal behavior.
While researchers acknowledge that certain subgroups can benefit from dose escalations, such measure should only be taken if a patient does not respond to more typical dosing amounts.