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Study: SSRI Antidepressants Save Lives

Suicide Rate Dropped After New Antidepressants Were Introduced

Early Monitoring Important continued...

Simon agrees that close monitoring is important -- but not because the antidepressants are dangerous. Rather, it is important, he says, because finding an antidepressant that works often takes time.

"Unfortunately, many people who start taking these drugs stop within a week or so because they don't seem to be working," Simon says.

Careful early monitoring could boost the effectiveness of antidepressant treatments from 40% to 50% up to around 75%, he says.

Closer monitoring of patients when they start SSRIs is a positive outcome of the suicide-risk controversy, Licinio says.

"It used to be that people were put on these drugs and told to come back in a few months, but that is not happening so much anymore," Licinio says. "These drugs do change mood and behavior among very vulnerable people, so close monitoring is important."

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