Fears About Antidepressants May Boost Suicide Rates

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A new study from the Harvard Department of Population Medicine found that while antidepressants aren't believed to lead to increased suicide rates, warnings about that possible danger may have done just that.

In 2003, the Food and Drug Administration warned consumers that a small percentage of youths taking antidepressants may experience suicidal thoughts. According to researchers at Harvard University, that warning led to a sudden increase in the number of attempted suicides using psychotropic drugs.

Researchers looked at data from over 7 million patients in the U.S. Mental Health Research network between 2010 and 2014. In that time, they found that two years after the FDA's warning, one percent of adolescents and young adults on antidepressants reported an increase in suicidal thoughts. Despite the increase, there was no noticeable increase in the number of suicide attempts.

In the same time frame, the study also found that there was a 24 percent decrease in antidepressant prescriptions among young adults and a 33.7 percent increase in suicide attempts solely by overdose.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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