News and Commentary Archive

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Doctors Call: End Warning on Antidepressants or Risk Suicides

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.

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.”

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