National Alliance on Mental Illness
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FDA Hearing on Suicide Risk

December 19, 2006

Last week the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) held a hearing to examine if antidepressants pose a greater risk for an increase in suicide in adults. 

Officials at the FDA stated that the higher risk was found in patients 18 to 25, but that the risk faded among older patients.  This hearing is a follow-up hearing from one held two years ago on increased risk of suicide among children taking antidepressants.  The previous hearing resulted in a "black box" warning on the drug labels.

Bob Carolla, a NAMI consumer, testified in the hearing last week about his experiences with different antidepressants.  In his testimony he asked that the FDA "not impose barriers that discourage physicians from giving patients immediate, effective help when it is needed, or that undermine the national suicide prevention strategy."

Read an article written by Shankar Vedantam, of the Washington Post (opens in a new window, free registration might be required), on the hearing. 

NAMI’s medical director, Dr. Kenneth Duckworth, submitted testimony (PDF, opens in a new window) to the FDA in advance of the hearing.