Though teen suicides had been declining since 1996, in 2004 the rate jumped by 18 percent. According to new research, the 2005 rate went down, but not by very much.
The rate was about 4.5 per 100,000, according to the research, which was published in Thursday’s Journal of the American Medical Association.
At the same time in 2004 teen antidepressant use also dropped after the Food and Drug Administration required labels warning that children could have suicidal thoughts while taking the medications.
Canada has experienced a similar spike in child and teen suicides, which also coincided with officials there warning the public about prescribing antidepressants for children, according to an April 2008 article in the Vancouver Sun.
The Canadian study also found that more than 90 percent of the children who committed suicide were not taking antidepressants, the Sun reported. Though the spike followed the warning, the study’s lead author said they couldn’t conclude a causative link.
“We can’t say the warning, or the change in antidepressant use or the physician office visits caused changes in suicide rates,” said Laurence Katz in an interview with the Sun.
But the study did document “a wide range of unintended health consequences” resulting from the antidepressant warning, researchers say.
Find out more at findingDulcinea.com