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Suicide Attempts Up after Antidepressant Alerts

Teens and young adults took fewer antidepressants after the drug labels started warning about an increased suicide risk. And they also were more likely to attempt suicide, a new study says. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first required the warnings in 2004. They applied to antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These drugs include fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), citalopram (Celexa) and others. In 2007, the warning was expanded to include young adults. The new study used data from 11 U.S. health plans. Researchers looked at prescriptions for SSRI drugs. They also looked at cases of overdose with mind-altering drugs, such as tranquilizers and amphetamines. Researchers said overdoses were more likely to be reported consistently than the medical code for suicide attempts.

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