Popular antidepressant associated with a dramatic increase in suicidal thoughts amongst men

Oct 14, 2009

Nortriptyline has been found to cause a ten-fold increase in suicidal thoughts in men when compared to its competitor escitalopram. These findings are published in the open access journal BMC Medicine.

The research was carried out by Dr. Nader Perroud from the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, who headed up GENDEP, an international team. Dr Perroud said "Suicidal thoughts and behaviours during antidepressant treatment have prompted warnings by regulatory bodies". He continued "the aim of our study was to investigate the emergence and worsening of suicidal thoughts during treatment with two different types of antidepressant."

Both escitalopram and nortriptyline have their effect through the mood modulating systems. The former is a selective (SSRI), preventing serotonin from re-entering the cell and thereby prolonging its effect on nerve synapses. The latter is a tricyclic antidepressant that inhibits the reuptake of noradrenaline, and to a lesser extent, that of serotonin.

The study was carried out on 811 individuals with moderate to severe unipolar depression. Whilst an overall trend in reduction of suicidal thoughts was observed, men who took nortriptyline were found to have a 9.8-fold increase in emerging suicidal thoughts and a 2.4-fold increase in worsening suicidal thoughts compared to those who took escitalopram.

Perroud concludes, "Our findings that treatment-emerging and worsening suicidal thoughts may also be associated with psychomotor activation triggered by antidepressants needs to be investigated in future studies. The study also refutes the idea that newer antidepressants such as the SSRIs are worse than older medications in terms of increasing ."

More information: Suicidal ideation during treatment of depression with escitalopram and nortriptyline in Genome-Based for Depression (GENDEP): a clinical trial, Nader Perroud, et at., BMC Medicine (in press), http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmcmed/

Source: BioMed Central (news : web)

Explore further: New system targets germs in donated blood plasma

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Ketamine reduces suicidality in depressed patients

Sep 10, 2009

Drug treatment options for depression can take weeks for the beneficial effects to emerge, which is clearly inadequate for those at immediate risk of suicide. However, intravenous (IV) ketamine, a drug previously used as ...

Suicide risk factors consistent across nations

Feb 01, 2008

Risk factors for suicidal thoughts, plans and attempts are consistent across countries, and include having a mental disorder and being female, younger, less educated, and unmarried. So says new research from a Harvard University ...

Recommended for you

Xtoro approved for swimmer's ear

17 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Xtoro (finafloxacin otic suspension) eardrops have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat swimmer's ear, clinically known as acute otitis externa.

Drug interaction identified for ondansetron, tramadol

17 hours ago

(HealthDay)—In the early postoperative period, ondansetron is associated with increased requirements for tramadol consumption, according to a review and meta-analysis published online Dec. 10 in Anaesthesia.

New system targets germs in donated blood plasma

Dec 17, 2014

(HealthDay)—A new system designed to eliminate germs in donated blood plasma and reduce the risk of transmitting a plasma-borne infection has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Judge halts Alzheimer's drug swap until July

Dec 16, 2014

A federal judge has ordered an Irish drug manufacturer to halt its plans to discontinue its widely used Alzheimer's medication, allegedly in an effort to drive patients to a newer patented drug.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

RJ32
1 / 5 (1) Oct 15, 2009
Want to get rid of depression? Change to an attitude of gratitude. It is impossible to be grateful and depressed at the same time and the choice is yours.
jonnyboy
Oct 15, 2009
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.