Lexapro and Suicide.




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Lexapro Increases the Risk of Suicide

SSRIs like Lexapro cause some people (3 to 5 percent) to experience a suicide related side effects. These suicide side effects include suicidal thoughts, suicidal gestures (typically cutting of the body), suicide attempts and actual death by suicide.

People being treated with SSRIs like Lexapro have become violent and suicidal. Others have complained of severe withdrawal reactions.

The FDA in March 2004 issued a warning for Lexapro and other antidepressants, stating that the drug can cause suicide and violence in children and teenagers. This FDA public health advisory places doctors, patients and families on notice to be particularly vigilant for signs of worsening depression or suicide thoughts at the beginning of anti-depressant therapy or whenever the dose is changed.

The drugs listed in the FDA warning are all newer antidepressants: Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor, Celexa, Remeron, Lexapro, Luvox, Serzone and Wellbutrin.

The FDA action follows Britain's version of the FDA citing in December 2003 evidence of a twofold to threefold increase risk of suicide and suicidal thinking in children and adolescents with the SSRI drugs like Lexapro.

These two agency actions follow 16 years of long-standing controversy about the possibility that SSRI antidepressants like Lexapro might induce suicide tendencies in some patients. Reports of unusual and severe reactions with SSRIs began shortly after Prozac, the first SSRI, was introduced in 1988.

In 1990 two Harvard researchers and psychiatrists published an article entitled: “Emergence of Intense Suicidal Preoccupation During Fluoxetine Treatment.” This article, which appeared in the American Journal of Psychiatry reported that persistent, obsessive, and violent suicidal thoughts emerged in a minority of patients treated with fluoxetine (Prozac).

Yale psychiatrist Dr. Robert A. King researched SSRI-induced suicide risk in1991. His peer-reviewed article, “Emergence of Self-Destructive Phenomena in Children and Adolescents during Fluoxetine Treatment,” stated that “self-injurious ideation or behavior appeared de novo or intensified during fluoxetine (Prozac) treatment.”

SSRI manufacturers and the medical community have been aware that SSRIs can cause people to kill themselves for a long time. Despite the numerous studies linking increased suicide risk with SSRIs like Lexapro, drug manufacturers continued to refute these claims.

As the suicide debate bubbles, so does the debate among doctors and researchers about the effectiveness of SSRIs like Lexapro.

Most studies find that SSRIs are no more effective in fighting teenage depression than sugar pills. Even in adults, SSRIs have been found to offer only modest benefits. In about half of all adult tests, the drugs prove no more effective than placebos.

These modest benefits are found in published studies. Researchers have not been able to analyze a large amount of the data because unfavorable studies are not made public.

GlaxoSmithKline, for instance, acknowledged that just one of its nine studies of Paxil in children and adolescents has been published. The one published study made only passing mention of suicide and concluded that the drug was effective against depression. According to the FDA, the combined results of all nine trials show that the drug is not effective against depression in patients under 18.

Unpublished studies of Effexor, for example, suggested the drug increased suicide-related events such as suicidal thoughts or attempts by 14 times compared with placebo.

Other drug companies similarly have withheld negative studies of SSRIs, claiming that the studies are “trade secrets.” With negative results not disclosed, physicians often believe the drugs are more effective and safer than they actually are.

SSRIs like Lexapro have been found to increase the risk of suicide. SSRIs like Lexapro are found to be no more effective than a sugar pill. In addition to that, all pharmaceutical drugs cause side effects ranging from mild to life-threatening.

In addition to the increased suicide risk, Lexapro can cause serious side effects. Weight gain and sexual dysfunction are common Lexapro side effects. Lexapro can also cause addiction and subsequent withdrawal symptoms.

The natural antidepressant Deprex safely and effectively relieves depression symptoms without side effects commonly associated with pharmaceutical medications.

Do not stop taking Lexapro without first talking to your doctor. Your doctor may need to gradually reduce the dose before stopping Lexapro completely. Suddenly stopping Lexapro may cause unpleasant and potentially serious side effects and withdrawal symptoms.

*This antidepressant drug information does not endorse Lexapro, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible warnings, uses, precautions, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse side effects of Lexapro. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your health care provider or pharmacist. The information provided should not be construed to indicate that Lexapro is safe, effective or appropriate.

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