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Rev Med Chil. 2007 Sep;135(9):1195-201. Epub 2007 Nov 15.

[Do antidepressants really increase suicide rates in childhood and adolescence?].

[Article in Spanish]

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Clínica Psiquiátrica Universitaria, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Chile, Concepción, Chile.


The use of antidepressant in depressive illness results in a reduction of suicidal attempts and deaths due to suicide, conditions that are generally present in this disorder. Recently, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) prohibited the use of antidepressants during childhood and adolescence. This decision was based on a supposed increase in suicidal thinking in these age groups. However, the evidence came from flawed clinical studies, some of them not even published, in which no significant differences were observed when compared to placebo. It is not possible to ascribe a direct responsibility to antidepressants, because depression, by definition, has suicidal ideation. On the contrary, the reduction of suicidal rates supports the effectiveness of these medications.

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