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FDA Advisory Against Anti-depressants to Be Expanded to Cover Young Adults too

es would note that studies have not shown this increased risk in adults older than 24 and that adults 65 and older taking antidepressants have a decreased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior.

The expanded warnings would emphasize that depression and certain other serious psychiatric disorders are themselves the most important causes of suicide.

"Antidepressant medications benefit many patients, but it is important that doctors and patients are aware of the risks," said Dr. Steven Galson, the FDA's drugs chief.

Still, any risks are said to be small. For every 1,000 patients 18-24 treated with antidepressants, the FDA would expect there would be five additional patients who have suicidal thoughts or exhibit suicidal behavior, said Dr. Thomas Laughren, who oversees psychiatric drugs for the FDA. The FDA analysis was based on studies of 11 antidepressants in more than 77,000 patients.

The proposed changes came with the endorsement of FDA expert advisers. Some experts have argued that the changes are overdue while others apprehend they could keep drugs from those who need them.
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