Antidepressants and suicide

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6972.127a (Published 14 January 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:127
  1. Goran Isacsson,
  2. Per Holmgren,
  3. Danuta Wasserman,
  4. Uip Bergman
  1. Assistant chief physician Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Family Medicine, Division of Psychiatry, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge University Hospital, Huddinge, Sweden
  2. Chemist Department of Toxicology, National Laboratory of Forensic Chemistry, Linkoping, Sweden
  3. Head Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
  4. Chief physician Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences and Technology, Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Karolinska Institute

    EDITOR,—Erkki Isometsa and colleagues1 supported the main conclusion of our toxicological study of suicides over two years in Sweden2—namely, that underprescribing and therapeutic failure are greater problems than toxicity with antidepressants. Isometsa and colleagues studied 1397 suicides in Finland during 1987–8; 57% of the victims were depressed. Antidepressants were prescribed to only a third of those with major depression (3% at adequate doses). Altogether 1348 subjects were investigated toxicologically in the same Finnish study, and Erkki Vuori and …

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