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GSK study suggests its antidepressant drugs cause suicidal tendencies

Saturday, April 16, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: antidepressants, suicidal tendencies, health news

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(NaturalNews) A new study released by drug giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) suggests that its very own antidepressant drug Paxil (paroxetine) is linked to an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and tendencies among adult patients. The findings appear to confirm those of previous studies and cases that have linked selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) like Paxil to suicides, suicide attempts, and even murders (http://www.naturalnews.com/019342.html).

Published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, the GSK study reveals a nearly sevenfold increase in suicide attempts among those taking Paxil versus those taking a placebo. In clinical trials, 0.34 percent of participants taking Paxil attempted suicide, while only 0.05 percent of those taking a placebo did.

Besides increasing the risk of suicidal tendencies, a GSK study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in early 2010 showed that Paxil does not even appear to work as intended in patients with varying levels depression (http://www.naturalnews.com/027962_Paxil_anti...). Combine this with the fact that Paxil technically makes depression symptoms worse by causing more suicides and suicide attempts, and you are left asking how or why this drug ended up on the market in the first place.

GSK has known since at least 2006 that Paxil is linked to increased suicide risk, and yet the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to allow the ineffective, harmful drug to remain on the market. Sure, the agency has upped its warning labels over the years, but based on the drug's safety and performance record, is there any legitimate reason for it to even be on the market in the first place?

The FDA first modified warning labels for Paxil in 2004 after suicide rates among children taking the drug was found to be twice as high as it was among those not taking Paxil. In 2006, the FDA extended the warning to include adults up to age 25. Today, the drug carries a "black box" warning for everyone that says it may increase risk of suicide.

A 2009 study published in the online journal PLoS One revealed that among 832 different drugs, which represent 99 percent of the total suicide-related events reported in the Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS), Paxil was the worst of all. Among the 27,012 adverse events reported for suicide attempts between 2004 and 2008, 1,323, or 4.9 percent, were linked to Paxil (http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F...).

Sources for this story include:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/31/us...

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