Given that a substantial proportion of the spinal cord injury community takes anti-depressants of some sort, the following news item may be of interest. I had to read the second paragraph about 10 times before I finally got it. The risk of suicide attempts was 90/100,000 while the risk of actual suicide was 40/100,000. Both suicide attempts and rates were highest before starting the treatment and then progressively declines over time. The data prior to this study suggested that anti-depressants may be associated with higher suicide rates, particularly in young people, sufficiently so that the FDA forced companies to include warning labels of increased suicide risk for Effexor, Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox, Wellbutrin, Celexa, Lexapro, Serzone, and Remeron. The study analyzed the suicide attempts and rates in 65,103 members of a Group Health Cooperative in Washington and Idaho that received antidepressant treatments in the past decade.
Antidepressants Don't Appear to Raise Suicide Risk, Study Shows
Jan. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Antidepressants such as Wyeth's Effexor and Eli Lilly & Co.'s Prozac don't appear to pose a higher risk of suicide in the six months after they're prescribed, a study says.

The attempted suicide rate found in the months after treatment began was 90 per 100,000 people while the suicide rate was 40 per 100,000 people, the study found. Neither figure represents an increased risk ``after starting antidepressant medication,'' the researchers wrote.

``The overall suicide risk associated with antidepressants is low,'' said researcher Gregory Simon, a psychiatrist with the Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, in a telephone interview. ``This conventional wisdom that risk goes up after treatment doesn't seem to be true.''

The study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, reviewed records for 65,103 Group Health Cooperative members in Washington and Idaho who received a total of 82,285 treatments over more than a decade.

The link between antidepressants and suicidal thoughts and self-destructive behavior has been at issue since March 2004 when the Food and Drug Administration warned doctors they should closely monitor patients on 10 drugs. In October 2004, the FDA also warned about use of the medicines for children and teenagers.

The risk of suicide attempts appeared to be greatest in the month before patients were first treated, according to the study. There was a smaller, significant increase in those attempts in the week after patients received antidepressants, and then a decline over the subsequent period, researchers said.