Monday, 1 September 2008

Drugs and suicide?


A sign of things to come. The FDA in the USA is now considering the case of various drugs prescribed for “physical illness” in causing an increase in suicides. The two drugs reported to be in the spotlight are Singulair (Montelukast sodium) an asthma medication and Neurontin Gabapentin). The report describes two people who committed suicide whilst on these drugs – and that really is the difficulty. Providing any evidence for a connection between the prescription of these drugs and suicide is going to be hard to do as suicide is such a relatively rare outcome – even in people taking antidepressants it is a rare outcome and hard to prove a connection. One solution proposed is to set up a monitoring system for all new drugs to look at suicidal thoughts – however thinking about suicide is a wobbly old construct which is quite complex and doesn’t usually lead to any actions. It certainly is not the same as thinking about death (something it is often confused with in teenagers). However at least this shows that yet again thinking about physical and mental problems as separate is not a particularly helpful thing to do.

2 comments:

Neurontin Side Effects said...

My name is Karen Tobin and i would like to show you my personal experience with Neurontin.

I have taken for 4 months. I am 54 years old. Was taking 1800 mg per day for pain, numbness and scalp soreness. It helped immensely and right now am weaning off of it taking 300mg two times daily with no noticeable side effects.

I have experienced some of these side effects-
Drowsiness and dizziness.

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Karen Tobin

Anonymous said...

I've experienced a link between starting and stopping meidcations and suicidal thoughts and wanting to be dead.

Antidepressants and other medications produce a rebound efect. First I become sped up, agitated, unable to stop moving and then....it's like being dropped from a great height and I plummet down, find it difficult to think clearly, have unbearable feelings in my body and overwhelming emotions and feel paralysed, unable to do anything much or think clearly.

Eventually, dying seems like a realistic option and combined with flagging ability to reason, it's a horrible experience. It's difficult to get support to live through it and survive.

To die is very frightening, but to stay alive feeling horrible, in an altered state,is equally frightening. Mental Health staff are notoriously callous when I've been in this state. Even when I've followed guidlelines for what to do when having suicidal thoughts, I've been treated in a way that stigmatises me, Isolates labels and contributes to the agony I feel.

It's actually traumatic to contemplate suicide , and our psychiatric/ medical culture often isn't helpful. Change in our medical system to support people who have this happen is long overdue. Compassion for the distress suffered and real help to cope would be a wonderful beginning.