Happy pills can double suicide risk - Times LIVE
Sat May 27 19:39:50 SAST 2017

Happy pills can double suicide risk

©The Daily Telegraph | 2016-01-29 00:36:25.0
Researchers find an increasing uptake of antidepressants across Europe in recent decades.
Image by: ©Nomad_Soul/shutterstock.com

Antidepressants can increase the risk of suicide, according to findings from the biggest-ever review of its kind, as pharmaceutical companies come under fire for failing to report side-effects and even deaths linked to the drugs.

The review of 70 trials of the most common antidepressants, involving more than 18000 people, found that they doubled the risk of suicide and aggression in under-18s. Although a similarly stark link was not found to adults, the authors said misreporting of trial data could have led to a "serious under-estimation of the dangers".

The Nordic Cochrane Centre review was analysed by University College London, which yesterday endorsed the findings in a British Medical Journal editorial.

After comparing clinical trial information to actual patient reports, scientists concluded that pharmaceutical companies had regularly misclassified deaths and suicidal actions, and the thoughts of people on antidepressants, to "favour their products".

Lead author Prof Peter Gøtzsche, of the Nordic Cochrane Centre, said: "What I take from this colossal under-reporting is that [antidepressants] are likely to increase suicides in all ages. It is horrendous that they have such disregard for human lives."


If you have an opinion you would like to share on this article, please send us an e-mail to the Times LIVE iLIVE team. In the mean time, click here to view the Times LIVE iLIVE section.