Letters Suicide and antidepressants

Beware extrapolation from ecological data

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c6844 (Published 30 November 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c6844
  1. Tarek A Hammad, associate director of epidemiology1,
  2. Andrew D Mosholder, senior medical epidemiologist1
  1. 1Division of Epidemiology, Office of Surveillance and Epidemiology, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20993, USA
  1. Tarek.Hammad{at}fda.hhs.gov

Identification of an association between antidepressant drugs and suicidal thinking and behaviour in adolescents in 2004, and the regulatory warnings that followed, sparked a debate on the potential for discouraging appropriate use of antidepressant drugs,1 2 3 with the unintended consequence of eventually exposing more patients to the suicide risk of untreated depression.4 These concerns were strengthened by …

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