FDA logo
FDA logo - 
Listen To The Story


SCOTT JAGOW: Also in Washington today, an FDA panel looks at antidepressants and suicide. A couple years ago, the FDA found certain drugs might prompt suicidal thoughts in teenagers. Now, the agency's thinking of adding adults to those warning labels. Helen Palmer reports from our Health Desk at WGBH.

HELEN PALMER: The FDA analyzed nearly 400 clinical trials of drugs like Celexa, Zoloft and Effexor involving 100,000 patients.

Those studies suggest that young adults under 25 who take them are also at slightly increased risk of suicide, but the risk is lower for the over-65s.

There's a clear message for doctors who prescribe these drugs:

LARRY SASSICH: They should be cautious, and the same kinds of cautions that were recommended for children in terms of close monitoring.

That's Larry Sassich of the Lake Erie College of Pharmacy. Pharmaceutical analysts say sales of these drugs fell 4% in the last year.

Natalie Taylor is with Decision Resources.

NATALIE TAYLOR: There's a lot of negative publicity out there regarding anti-depressant drugs. It's definitely impacted patients seeking treatment for depression.

Taylor expects the FDA to recommend stronger safety warnings for adults too.

In Boston, I'm Helen Palmer for Marketplace.