News on Wellness

Dosage of Antidepressants Prescribed to Teens May Need to be Controlled More Carefully Due to Increased Suicide Risk


A study by the Harvard School for Public Health looked into the relationship between antidepressants and suicidal thoughts and self harming behaviour. The researchers looked at 162,000 patients who had all been prescribed antidepressant medication, between the ages of 10 and 64. They analysed the differences between patients receiving what is called a ‘modal’ dose (an average amount of the drug), and those who were prescribed higher doses.
The study revealed that self harm was twice as likely to occur in patients who were started on a higher dose, where the patient was aged 24 or under. In patients aged 25-64, there was no increase in deliberate self harm even when started on a non-modal dose of the antidepressant drugs.

The link between self harm and suicide is one that has concerned the medical community for some time now, and studies in previous years into the impact of certain antidepressant medications on the risk of suicide have revealed results consistent with this research – that younger people may be more likely to self harm or have suicidal thoughts while using high doses of the drugs than older people. While more research needs to be done on the matter, these findings urge doctors to be careful when prescribing non-modal doses of antidepressant drugs to children, teens and people in their early twenties. Younger patients should be closely monitored when starting these kinds of drugs, even when no history of self harm exists.

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