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Antidepressants Suicide Warning Expanded to Young Adults

Just two weeks after a Journal of the American Medical Association argued against them, the FDA has proposed stiffer changes on the warning labels of antidepressants once again. This latest advisory would expand the current black box warning to include young adults (ages 18-24) among those at a greater risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior.

But this newly expanded warning would come with caveats. These proposed labels would point out that studies had shown adults older than age 24 were not at the same increased risk of suicidal behaviors and adults older than age 64 had a decreased risk of the same. And, the emphasis would be on depression and other psychiatric issues being the primary cause of suicides, not the drugs.

Even though some "experts" are concerned raising the bar on could prevent patients who "need" those harmful antidepressants from seeking them out, others believe, as I do, they're long overdue. Drugmakers Eli Lilly (Prozac) and Pfizer (Zoloft) have said they will comply with the FDA decision that affects all other antidepressants including Paxil and Lexapro.

It's interesting that these stronger warnings are coming a year after reports surfaced about far many more side effects associated with antidepressants besides the increased risk of suicide, for example, the harm these drugs can do to your immune system.

No doubt, negative emotions left untreated can harm your body in countless ways, but there are far safer, healthier ways to handle them without having to rely on a toxic drug either.

MSNBC May 2, 2007

USA Today May 2, 2007