The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now asking pharmaceutical
manufacturers to add label warnings that some antidepressants may pose a risk
for suicidal behavior, the most serious potential symptom of the condition
the drugs are meant to treat.
The agency urges physicians, families, and caregivers to be particularly
vigilant for signs of suicidal behavior in patients when antidepressant therapy
is initiated or the dose is changed. The drugs of concern are all newer-generation
antidepressants: fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft),
venlafaxine (Effexor), citalopram (Celexa), mirtazapine (Remeron), escitalopram
(Lexapro), fluvoxamine (Luvox), nefazodone (Serzone), and bupropion (Wellbutrin).
Most are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which affect the
brain chemical serotonin.
Hampton T. Suicide Caution Stamped on Antidepressants. JAMA. 2004;291(17):2060-2061. doi:10.1001/jama.291.17.2060