Association between selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor therapy and suicidality: Analysis of U.S. food and drug administration adverse event reporting system data

Ryogo Umetsu, Junko Abe, Natsumi Ueda, Yamato Kato, Toshinobu Matsui, Yoko Nakayama, Yasutomi Kinosada, Mitsuhiro Nakamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are prescribed for the treatment of depression worldwide. SSRIs are suspected to increase the risk of suicidal ideation and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults. We examined the association between SSRI therapy and suicidality by applying a logistic regression model to age-stratified data from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Adverse Event Reporting System database. We attempted to mitigate the effect of patient-related factors by data subsetting. We selected case reports for SSRIs as referred to in the World Health Organization Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical classification code N06AB. The association between SSRIs and "suicidal events" or "self-harm events" was calculated as a reporting odds ratio (ROR) and adjusted for covariates by logistic regression. For subjects <18 years old (y.o.) the adjusted RORs (95% confidence interval) of SSRI therapy with suicidal events were 9.58 (8.97-10.23) in the whole data analysis and 4.64 (4.15-5.19) in the subset analysis; those with self-harm events were 31.40 (27.71-35.58) and 16.31 (13.12-20.29), respectively. Although the adjusted RORs were lower in the subset analyses than in the whole data analyses, both analyses indicated associations between SSRI treatment and suicidal and self-harm events. In both analyses these associations were stronger in the <18 y.o. group than other age groups. Children and adolescents should be closely monitored for the occurrence of suicidality when they are prescribed SSRIs. In addition, we found that data subsetting might mitigate the effect of an intrinsic risk among patients taking the suspected drug.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1689-1699
Number of pages11
JournalBiological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin
Volume38
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Nov 1

Keywords

  • Adverse event
  • Reporting odds ratio (ROR)
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)
  • Suicidality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science

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