Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Depression Health Center

Font Size

Teen Suicide Risk Similar Among Antidepressants

Increased Teen Suicide Risk Doesn’t Vary Among SSRI Antidepressants
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

April 12, 2010 -- The heightened risk of teen suicide doesn’t vary among users of different antidepressants, a new study finds.

Researchers say the finding supports the FDA’s current "black box" warning on all antidepressants detailing the increased risk of suicide attempts and suicides in children and teens who start to take the drugs. A "black box" warning is the FDA's most severe warning label.

Previous studies have shown that children and teenagers who begin to use SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressants may have an increase in suicidal thoughts and behaviors, but researchers say this is the first study to compare the child and teen suicide risk among different individual SSRI antidepressants.

The study followed 20,906 children in British Columbia between the ages of 10 and 18 who had been diagnosed with depression and prescribed an antidepressant over a nine-year period.

During the first year of antidepressant use, there were 266 attempted suicides and three suicides.

Researchers found no significant difference in child and teen suicide risk among the five SSRI antidepressants studied (fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, citalopram, paroxetine, and sertraline). Tricyclic antidepressants showed risks similar to the SSRIs.

Overall, the child and teen suicide rate after initiation of antidepressant use among participants in the study was five times higher than the rate reported among all teens aged 13 to 17 in British Columbia, which researchers say reflects the higher suicide risks among the depressed.

"Our analysis supports the decision of the Food and Drug Administration to include all antidepressants in the black box warning regarding increased suicidality risk for children and adolescents initiating use of antidepressants," write researcher Sebastian Schneeweiss, MD, ScD of Harvard Medical School and colleagues in Pediatrics. "Once a decision to initiate pharmacotherapy is made, treatment decisions should be made on the basis of efficacy and less so on the basis of safety. Clinicians should be vigilant in monitoring children and adolescents for whom use of any antidepressant agents is initiated."

Today on WebMD

Differences between feeling depressed and feeling blue.
jk rowling
Famous people who've struggled with persistent sadness.
depressed man sitting on hallway floor
Learn the truth about this serious illness.
Sad woman looking out of the window
Tips to stay the treatment course.
unhappy teen boy
Health Check
jk rowling
Pills with smiley faces
Teen girl huddled outside house
Depressed man sitting in hospital hallway
antidepressants slideshow
pill bottle
Winding path