Suicide rates for adolescents and teenagers appear to have increased at the same time that the number of prescriptions for antidepressants for patients in those age groups were dropping, according to a study published in the September issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry.
In 2003, the federal Food and Drug Administration warned that prescribing antidepressants to adolescents might increase their risk of suicide, prompting many doctors to cut back on suggested antidepressant usage, the study says.
The study’s researchers note that the number of antidepressant prescriptions began to drop after that warning, decreasing roughly 22 percent over a few years. The suicide rate for adolescents increased 14 percent between 2003 and 2004, the study says, but no data were available for the following years.
A version of this article appeared in the September 12, 2007 edition of Education Week