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Healthy and Happy Love Relationships. Originally written in 1986, and a free online guide to time-tested attitudes & tips since 2001.

Antidepressant Drugs Increase Suicide Risk

A poor or broken love relationship is one of the chief causes of depression. Not all people need to resort to antidepressant drugs to cope, however some do and according to a recent study doing so can increase suicide risk significantly. The following news article will provide the details of what the study discovered. These days herbal remedies for many things including depression are enjoying a renaissance, and this article should have all of us looking closer at things like St. Johns Wort and melatonin!

Antidepressants Can Send Suicide Risk Zooming

OTTAWA - Antidepressant drugs taken by -hundreds of thousands of Canadians double people's risk of attempting suicide, says a Canadian study. The study, published in the British Medical Journal, combines the results of 702 separate smaller studies involving more than 87,000 patients who took a class of antidepressants that includes Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa and Luvox. The Ottawa scientists who wrote it say much of the evidence has been available for up to 10 years, but scattered across hundreds of smaller studies. "The effect is real. For 10 years there was a signal," said study member Dr. Paul Hebert. Hebert said the risk is not very high for one person, but since antidepressants are prescribed by the millions, it becomes a bigger problem on a public-health level. He noted some suicide attempts would be expected in depressed patients, but the rate increases following treatment with antidepressants called selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRI). There were also suicidal effects in patients who took the drugs for dozens of other conditions. "We're seeing attempted suicide in some diseases where suicide would not be expected, such as panic disorders," Hebert said. "It's occurring across the board in non-depressed individuals." In 2003, Canadian doctors wrote 15.6 million prescriptions for these antidepressants - nearly double the total from five years earlier. Doctors on both sides of the issue caution that people who take these drugs shouldn't stop doing so upon hearing this news. "Even if they feel they're having side effects such as agitation or thoughts of suicide, they should first talk to their doctors," said Dr. Robert Swenson, a psychiatrist at the Ottawa Hospital. BY TOM SPEARS - CANWEST NEWS SERVICE If antidepressant drugs are contributing to an increased risk of suicide, we have more reason to go herbal than ever!
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