ABC News | July 9, 2014 | Susan Donaldson James
Mental health experts are calling on the Food and Drug Administration to remove its most severe label – the so-called “black box warning” — on all categories of antidepressants because it has been “highly correlated” with a more than 33 percent jump in suicide attempts over the last decade as doctors and patients who could benefit from the drugs have shied away from using them.
A June study published in the BMJ backs up previous research that shows a link between fears about the use of antidepressants and young people taking their lives.
The data is “startling,” said Dr. Gene Beresin, executive director of The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds, which is affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital.
“A black box warning means parents and doctors must be aware and monitor,” he told ABC News. “But that’s the next closest thing to prohibition.”
“If an infection, asthma, or heart condition increased 30 percent over the last decade, the public would go ballistic,” said Beresin. “The FDA would have been under massive attack from all sectors of the population if any other medical condition escalated in this manner. … Everyone would be scrambling to reduce any and all possible risk factors.”