Intended for healthcare professionals


Antidepressants and suicide: Risk of completed suicide is not the same as risk of deliberate self harm

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 19 August 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:461
  1. Alex J Mitchell, consultant in liaison psychiatry (
  1. Leicester General Hospital, Leicester LE5 4PW

    EDITOR—I welcome Gunnell and Ashby's timely review on the risks versus benefits of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs),1 but I am not sure how much this article clears the air.

    The authors take adverse “suicide related event” data reported by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (largely over-arousal, suicidal thoughts, and self harm) explicitly to mean completed suicide. Although no actual suicides occurred in the agency's data, the authors multiply an estimate of completed suicides per …

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