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Decrease in suicide among the individuals treated with antidepressants: a controlled study of antidepressants in suicide, Sweden 1995-2005
Karolinska Institute.
National Board for Forensic Medicine.
Karolinska Institute.
Linköping University, Department of Medicine and Health Sciences, Clinical Pharmacology . Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
2009 (English)In: Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, ISSN 0001-690X, Vol. 120, no 1, 37-44 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: Ecological studies have demonstrated a substantial decrease in suicide in parallel with an increase in the use of antidepressants. Causality cannot, however, be inferred from such studies. The aim of this study was to test on the individual level the hypothesis that treatment with antidepressant medication has been a substantially contributing cause of the decrease in suicide. Method: Time trends in the detection of antidepressants and five control medications in the forensic toxicological screening of 16 937 suicides and 33 426 controls in Sweden 1995-2005. Results: The expected number of antidepressant-positive suicides in 2005 was 409 if the hypothesis was true and 603 if it was false. The observed number in 2005 was 420. The control medications were detected to the extent that was expected if not preventing suicide. Conclusion: The observed trend in the number of suicides with antidepressants was well predicted by the hypothesis that the increased use of antidepressants has been a substantially contributing cause of the decrease in suicide.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 120, no 1, 37-44 p.
Keyword [en]
suicide; suicide prevention; antidepressants; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor; pharmacoepidemiology; forensic toxicology
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-53861DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2009.01344.xISI: 000266636100006OAI: diva2:292413
Available from: 2010-02-06 Created: 2010-02-06 Last updated: 2010-02-06

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Ahlner, Johan
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Clinical Pharmacology Faculty of Health Sciences
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