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June 9, 1969

The Antisuicide Pill

Author Affiliations

Suicide-Prevention and Crisis Service Buffalo

JAMA. 1969;208(10):1908. doi:10.1001/jama.1969.03160100098025

To the Editor:—  There has been much discussion recently of the possible deleterious effects from oral contraceptives on the health of women using them1 (for example, thrombophlebitis2). It is rare to find anyone postulating a beneficial effect from oral contraceptives.Mackinnon, et al3 reported that successful attempts at suicide by women reached a peak during the midluteal phase of the menstrual cycle. (Unsuccessful attempts reach a peak during the premenstrual and menstrual phases of the cycle.4) It is not known yet what the causes of the association are and no one has yet speculated about possible causes. However, whether the cause-and-effect relationship (if one exists) is due to the direct influence of hormonal levels or via mediation through psychological mood-states, it would seem that the alteration of the menstrual process by the use of oral contraceptives might have an effect on the successful suicide rate of