Suicidal Thoughts or Actions in Children and Adults

FDA Alert  |  July, 2005
Suicidal Thoughts or Actions in Children and Adults

Patients with depression or other mental illnesses often think about or attempt suicide. Closely watch anyone taking antidepressants, especially early in treatment or when the dose is changed. Patients who become irritable or anxious, or have new or increased thoughts of suicide or other changes in mood or behavior (or their care givers) should contact their healthcare professional right away.

Children
Taking antidepressants may increase suicidal thoughts and actions in about 1 out of 50 people 18 years or younger. Although paroxetine is prescribed for children, FDA has not approved paroxetine for use in children.

Adults
Several recent scientific publications report the possibility of an increased risk for suicidal behavior in adults who are being treated with antidepressant medications. Even before these reports became available, FDA began a complete review of all available data to determine whether there is an increased risk of suicidal thinking or behavior in adults being treated with antidepressant medications. It is expected that this review will take a year or longer to complete. In the meantime, FDA is highlighting that adults being treated with antidepressant medication, particularly those being treated for depression, should be watched closely for worsening of depression and for increased suicidal thinking or behavior.

This information reflects FDA’s current analysis of data available to FDA concerning this drug.
FDA intends to update this sheet when additional information or analyses become available
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