Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Certain epilepsy drugs may increase risk of suicide, study suggests

Date:
July 26, 2010
Source:
American Academy of Neurology
Summary:
While the Food and Drug Administration requires a warning of an increased risk of suicide for all epilepsy drugs, a new study shows that only certain drugs may increase the risk.

While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires a warning of an increased risk of suicide for all epilepsy drugs, a new study shows that only certain drugs may increase the risk.

The study is published in the July 27, 2010, issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Newer drugs with a higher risk of causing depression than other epilepsy drugs, such as levetiracetam, topiramate and vigabatrin, were found to increase the risk of self-harm or suicidal behavior among people with epilepsy.

In contrast, newer drugs that have a low risk of causing depression and conventional epilepsy drugs did not have any increased risk of self-harm or suicidal behavior. These groups include drugs such as lamotrigine, gabapentin, carbamazepine, valproate and phenytoin.

"These results may be helpful for doctors and people with epilepsy as they decide which drugs to use," said study author Frank Andersohn, MD, of Charité University Medical Center in Berlin, Germany. "An earlier analysis of data by the FDA grouped all of the epilepsy drugs together and found an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior, but could not address the question of whether there were differences among the various classes of epilepsy drugs."

In an editorial accompanying the article, Josemir Sander, MD, PhD, of the University College London in the United Kingdom and the Epilepsy Institute of the Netherlands Foundation and Marco Mula, MD, PhD, of the University Hospital Maggiore della Carità in Novara, Italy, noted that some researchers have been concerned that the risks of people stopping taking their epilepsy drugs or not starting to take a drug due to worries about the risk of suicide would be greater than the risk of suicidal behavior.

The study looked at all of the people in the United Kingdom General Practice Research Database who had epilepsy and had at least one prescription for an epilepsy drug from 1989 through 2005. The participants were followed for an average of five and a half years. Of the 44,300 people, 453 had harmed themselves or attempted suicide; 78 people died at the time or within four weeks of the initial attempt. The 453 people were compared to 8,962 in the larger group who had not harmed themselves or attempted suicide.

People who were currently using the newer drugs with a higher risk of depression, such as levetiracetam, topiramate and vigabatrin, were three times more likely to harm themselves or attempt suicide than those who were not currently taking any epilepsy drugs. A total of six of the 453 people, or 1.3 percent, who harmed themselves or attempted suicide were taking the newer drugs with the higher risk of depression, compared to 45 of the 8,962 people, or 0.5 percent, of those who did not harm themselves.

According to the authors, the number of people taking some of the drugs was small, so the results need to be confirmed by additional studies. People should not abruptly stop or change their epilepsy medication based on the findings of this study but should discuss this issue with their physician, Andersohn noted.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Neurology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy of Neurology. "Certain epilepsy drugs may increase risk of suicide, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100726162109.htm>.
American Academy of Neurology. (2010, July 26). Certain epilepsy drugs may increase risk of suicide, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100726162109.htm
American Academy of Neurology. "Certain epilepsy drugs may increase risk of suicide, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100726162109.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) — As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) — Apple has delayed the launch of the HealthKit app platform, citing a bug. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) — Sixteen large food and beverage companies in the United States that committed to cut calories in their products far surpassed their target. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) — Haitians receive the second dose of the vaccine against cholera as part of the UN's vaccination campaign. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins