Wednesday, December 17, 2008

FDA Finally Adopts Suicide Warning for Antiseizure Meds

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After much back and forth, the FDA has finally decided to require suicide warnings to be added to antiseizure (also called anticonvulsant or antiepileptic) medications.

A number of medications in this category are used for migraine prevention, such as Depakote and Topamax, among others.

FDA Adds Suicide Warning to Epilepsy Drugs

The agency had once considered requiring it's strongest warning for these medications, the so-called black box warning, but an advisory panel suggested such a warning was unnecessary after holding hearings and gathering information. They feared adding the strongest warning could scare patients and keep them from taking their medication as directed by their physicians.

In January 2008, the FDA had released findings uncovered by the agency's comprehensive review of studies of the relationship between suicide and
anticonvulsants. About 1 in 500 patients face an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors as a result of taking one of these drugs. The risk is small, but if you take one of these medications and have concerns, please discuss them with your doctor.

Related Posts:
FDA Advisers Reject Warnings on Antiepileptic Drugs
FDA Review of Studies on Suicide & Seizure Meds Released
Follow Up: Antiepileptic Drugs and Suicidal Thoughts
Antiepileptic Meds Related to Suicidal Ideation

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