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FDA Proposes New Warnings About Suicidal Thinking, Behavior in,Young Adults Who Take Antidepressant Medications

antidepressants. At that time, FDA asked manufacturers to add a black box warning to the labeling of all antidepressants to describe this risk and to emphasize the need for appropriate monitoring and close observation, particularly for younger patients taking these medications. In addition, FDA directed manufacturers to develop Medication Guides, FDA-approved user-friendly information for patients, families and caregivers, that could help improve monitoring. Medication Guides are intended to be distributed at the pharmacy with each prescription or refill of a medication.

Also in 2005, FDA began a comprehensive review of 295 individual antidepressant trials that included over 77,000 adult patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders, to examine the risk of suicidality in adults who are prescribed antidepressants.

In December 2006, FDA's Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee agreed that labeling changes were needed to inform health care professionals about the increased risk of suicidality in younger adults using antidepressants. Additionally, the committee noted product labeling needed to reflect the apparent beneficial effect of antidepressants in older adults and to remind health care professionals that the disorders themselves are the most important cause of suicidality.

FDA has been developing language to revise product labeling and update the Patient Medication Guides for these products. Manufacturers of antidepressants will now have 30 days to submit their revised product labels and revised Medication Guides to FDA for review.

Products involved in today's action include:

Anafranil (clomipramine)
Asendin (amoxapine)
Aventyl (nortriptyline)
Celexa (citalopram hydrobromide)
Cymbalta (duloxetine)
Desyrel (trazodone HCl)
Elavil (amitriptyline)
Effexor (venlafaxine HCl)
Emsam (selegiline)
Etrafon (perphenazine/amitriptyline)
fluvoxam
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