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Date you started taking this drug:

Date you stopped taking this drug:

Age of patient when antidepressant(s) prescribed:

What condition was this medication prescribed to treat?

What additional medications were you taking at the time?

Did patient hurt themselves during or after taking the drug?

Did patient become violent during or after taking the drug?

Was suicide attempted?

Was hospitalization or institutionalization required after taking antidepressant(s)?

Did loved one commit suicide?

If patient did attempt or commit suicide, did patient ever attempt suicide previously?

If patient did commit suicide, what was the method of suicide?

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Antidepressant Drug Paxil Poses Suicide Risk To Young

Oct 20, 2003 |

The health ministry has learned that a widely prescribed antidepressant drug raises the risk of suicide by seriously depressed children at puberty, ministry and industry officials said Monday.

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry has ordered the importer to put warnings in its packages against administration of the drug to seriously depressed people aged under 18, the officials said. However, it also warns that a sudden halt in use of the drug could cause perception disorders and is calling instead for a gradual reduction.

The drug, imported and sold by GlaxoSmithKline KK, the Japanese subsidiary of GlaxoSmithKline PLC of Britain, carries the product name Paxil and is prescribed by doctors in Japan often as the first choice for treating depression.

However, the drug company's clinical tests on children aged between 7 and 18 have found that the risk of patients with serious depression considering or planning suicide almost doubles when dosed with the drug, according to GlaxoSmithKline officials.

The tests, which covered more than 1,000 children in Britain, also failed to confirm that the drug had a remedial effect on the depression of the patients, they said.

Of 378 young patients who were prescribed the drug, 5.3% began to consider or plan suicide, compared with only 2.8% of 285 patients dosed with placebos.

Paxil is one of a new type of antidepressant called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which are touted as having relatively few side-effects.

The ministry approved the product in 2000 for use in people aged 15 or older and the drug has since been given to 470,000 people a year, including some under 15 at some hospitals, the officials said.

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