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People taking sertraline for depression were 2.9-times more likely to commit suicide over 5 years
Wednesday, December 28, 2016 2:01 pm Email this article
Research shows that antidepressants increase the risk of suicide.
People given a diagnosis of depression who were taking sertraline (Zoloft) were 2.9-times more likely to commit suicide over the next five (5) years compared to people given a diagnosis of depression who were taking no antidepressants according to a recent analysis.
Subjects: 238,963 patients from 687 medical practices who were diagnosed with depression
Subjects included were 238,963 patients from 687 medical practices who were diagnosed with depression from 1 January 2000 to 31 July 2011.
A total of 88,272 patients were excluded from the study cohort because they had schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or other psychoses or had been prescribed lithium or antimanic drugs and/or had been prescribed an antidepressant before the study entry date aged less than 20, or more than 36 months before the recorded date of depression.
Suicide rates highest during first month
Suicide rates highest during first month on drug and first month after stopping drug
Suicide rates tended to be highest in the first 28 days after starting treatment and remained increased in the first 28 days after stopping treatment.
“The results of this study indicate that patients taking antidepressant drugs should be carefully monitored, especially during early treatment with antidepressants and when stopping treatment,” the authors of the paper concluded.
The calculation used was Hazard Ratio of 1.15 for sertraline divided by 0.39 for those taking no antidepressants equals 2.9 times the risk of suicide.
Coupland C, Hill T, Morriss R, Arthur A, Moore M, and Hippisley-Cox J. Antidepressant use and risk of suicide and attempted suicide or self harm in people aged 20 to 64: cohort study using a primary care database. BMJ, 2015; 350: h517.
Author’s Contact Info
Division of Primary Care
School of Medicine
University of Nottingham
Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
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