The Food and Drug Administration has begun a preliminary inquiry into whether epilepsy drugs may increase the risk of suicidal behavior in some patients, particularly those who use them for psychiatric illnesses.
Prompted in part by a lawyer’s claims against a leading anticonvulsant, Neurontin, the F.D.A. asked makers of all epilepsy medicines last month to reanalyze research to see if there was evidence of increased suicide risk.
“I don’t think we have any suspicion yet that these drugs actually do that,” said Dr. Robert Temple, the F.D.A.’s drug policy chief.
Antiseizure drugs are becoming widely used to treat some psychiatric illnesses as well as pain.