Danish researchers have reported that antidepressants can actually raise the risk of suicide when taken by healthy people.
13 previous trials were assessed and researchers claimed that previous research had underestimated the risk of antidepressants.
The new analysis was published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine by researchers from the Nordic Cochrane Centre and the University of Copenhagen.
Lead author Professor Peter Gøtzsche, of the Nordic Cochrane Centre, said:
‘While it is now generally accepted antidepressants increase the risk of suicide and violence in children and adolescents, most people believe these drugs are not dangerous for adults. This is a potentially lethal misconception.
‘The reporting of harms in drug trials is generally poor. Our review established the trials did not report much about their methodology and the reporting of adverse events was generally inadequate. It is well documented that drug companies under-report seriously the harms of antidepressants related to suicide and violence, either by simply omitting them from reports, by calling them something else or by committing scientific misconduct.’
Professor Sir Simon Wessely, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said:
‘The strongest conclusion one can draw from this data is to say some symptoms such as agitation occur in depression itself and in response to antidepressants.
‘Sometimes these symptoms are also experienced by people who go on to commit acts of violence or self-harm.
‘Overall, medications used in any branch of medicine do good can also do harm. The same applies in psychiatry.’
‘Current evidence from large scale studies continues to show that for antidepressants the benefits outweigh the risks. If the evidence changes then so will our advice, but this study changes nothing.’
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