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Zoloft

SSRI Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor AntiDepressants Can Lead to Suicide

FDA has warned Pfizer, the makers of Zoloft SSRI antidepressants to add a warning about suicidal behavior. FDA instructed that patients should be monitored for suicidal tendencies when they are using Zoloft and other antidepressants.

An FDA advisory panel prompted manufacturers to publish new warnings on labels and Zoloft packaging after emotional hearings, which included testimony from parents whose teenaged children took their own lives, or attempted suicide after starting Zoloft antidepressant.

  Zoloft is part of a new class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). British studies have found increased suicidal tendencies among children taking antidepressants versus those taking placebos.

New warnings on labels instructs doctors to "carefully monitor patients receiving antidepressants for possible worsening of depression or suicidal behavior, especially at the beginning of therapy or when the dose either decreases or increases."

The U.S. surgeon general estimates there are 30,000 suicides every year in the United States. According to researchers with Columbia University, 10 percent of all youth suffer from depression, and 1,883 children ages 10 to 19 years old killed themselves in 2001.