The current controversy over the link between antidepressants and suicidal behaviour in children shouldn't ignore the risks of not treating the disease, according to an article in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery.
Most people who commit suicide suffer from major depressive disorder, write Julio Licinio and Ma-Li Wong. In most of these cases suicide is the result of untreated, or inadequately treated, depression, rather than as an adverse reaction to antidepressants. So, while current efforts to assess the safety of antidepressants are needed, they should not be allowed to hinder the effective treatment of depression.
But, one positive consequence from the controversy is that this has shown that the treatment of depression requires specialist attention and close monitoring, say the authors. Antidepressants should no longer be viewed as 'lifestyle' or 'cosmetic' forms of treatment.
Julio Licinio (University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA)
Tel: +1 310 206 6207
Also available online.
(C) Nature Reviews Drug Discovery press release.
Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza