Navigation Links
Fewer suicides after antidepressive treatment for schizophrenia

Antidepressive drugs reduce the mortality rate of schizophrenic patients, while treatment with bensodiazepines greatly increases it, especially as regards suicide. Giving several antipsychotics simultaneously, however, seems to have no effect at all. This according to a new study examining different drug combinations administered to patients with schizophrenia.

"We weren't aware that the beneficial effects of antidepressives were so powerful," says Jari Tiihonen, professor of clinical psychiatry at Karolinska Institutet's Department of Clinical Neuroscience in Stockholm, Sweden.

The study followed 2,588 Finns who had recently developed schizophrenia from the time of their initial admission to hospital for an average of four years. By accessing the Finnish registers, the researchers were then able to ascertain the effects of different drug combinations on the mortality risk within the group.

A total of 160 people died in the study, most commonly from external causes such as drowning, poisoning or violent crime, something that affected 57 people. Thirty-five of these cases were suicide, which made it and cardiovascular disease the two main causes of death.

The researchers found that when taking bensodiazepines, the participants ran a 91 per cent higher risk of early death than at times when these drugs were not used. By far the most common cause of death was suicide, and most deaths occurred with patients who had been taking their bensodiazepines for longer than four weeks.

"The increased suicide risk for patients with long-standing benzodiazepine use may be partly attributable to the possible development of withdrawal symptoms when the drugs run out," says Professor Tiihonen. "These symptoms, which can be severe severe anxiety and insomnia, might have affected some of the patients' decisions to commit suicide. It's therefore extremely important that bensodiazepines are discontinued gradually rather than abruptly over a period of weeks or months and in consultation with a doctor."

"The temporary acute use of benzodiazepines is justifiable if the patient is suffering a great deal of anxiety," he continues. "But benzodiazepines should be discontinued within a month according to psychiatric recommendations, which doctors must start following and respecting."

During the periods the participants took antidepressive drugs, they ran a 43 per cent lower mortality risk than during the periods when these drugs were not used. Antipsychotics had no effect on mortality if the patients were on multiple prescriptions simultaneously.

"People think that it's dangerous to treat patients with schizophrenia with more than one antipsychotic drug, but there is nothing to back that up, says Professor Tiihonen. "I believe that most doctors prescribe several antipsychotics if their patients are not helped by just one kind, and our study finds no link between this and increased mortality during a four year follow-up. But it does mean more adverse effects, such as the risk of weight-gain, which also impacts the health in the long run, so the recommended attitude is still one of restraint."

Contact: Press Officer Katarina Sternudd
Karolinska Institutet

Related medicine news :

1. Pneumococcal disease: More cases but fewer deaths
2. Physician Groups Call for Fewer Medical Tests
3. Higher-spending hospitals have fewer deaths for emergency patients
4. Fewer U.S. Med Students Choose Psychiatry: Report
5. Ban on Public Smoking Linked to Fewer Preterm Deliveries
6. Fewer women need repeat breast cancer surgeries with new service at University of Michigan
7. In Tougher Economy, Fewer Americans Get Colonoscopy
8. Hispanic Americans Born Outside Country Have Fewer Strokes
9. Recession and high co-pays tied to fewer colonoscopy screenings among people with health insurance
10. Women with rheumatoid arthritis and lupus give birth to fewer children
11. Fewer Teens Exposed to Tobacco Smoke in Cars: Report
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... CBD College is proud to ... Programs (CAAHEP) awarded accreditation to its Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. CBD College is honored ... one of twelve colleges and universities in the state of California make the cut. ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Indosoft Inc., developer and distributor of the ... LTS (Long Term Support) into its Q-Suite 5.10 product line. , Making the ... a version of Asterisk that will receive not only security fixes, but feature ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Somu Sivaramakrishnan announced today that ... Somu now offers travelers, value and care based Travel Services, including exclusive pricing ... well as, cabin upgrades and special amenities such as, shore excursions, discounted fares, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... opinion process, participated in the 61st annual Employee Benefits Conference. The Employee Benefits ... place Sunday, November 8th through Wednesday, November 11th, 2015. The conference was held ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... aggressive than those found on mammography, according to a study published online in ... cancers not seen on mammography may necessitate a change in treatment. , Breast ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... Nederland, November 26, 2015 ... Een nieuwe aanpak combineert immunotherapie met Bremachlorin-photodynamische ... ) --> ...      (Photo: ) ... Universitair Medisch Centrum (LUMC) blijkt ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 3D bioprinting market is expected ... new report by Grand View Research Inc. Rising prevalence of ... kidney transplantation is expected to boost the market growth, as ... transplantation. --> 3D bioprinting market is expected ... new report by Grand View Research Inc. Rising prevalence of ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... addition of the  "2016 Future Horizons ... Cell Surface Testing Market: Supplier Shares, ... their offering.  --> ... the  "2016 Future Horizons and Growth ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: