Year: 2023 Source: BMC Pharmacology and Toxicology. (2023). 24, 22. SIEC No: 20231462
Background: Since the warnings by the United States (US) and European regulatory authorities in 2004 and 2005 it had been discussed whether there is some link between selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and suicidality in the pediatric population. The aim of our study was to describe trends and patterns in spontaneous reporting data referring to suicidality in children, adolescents and young adults treated with SSRI after the warnings. Methods: Descriptive analyses of reports for 0-24 year olds referring to suicide/suicidal ideations, self-harms and overdoses with SSRIs reported as suspected submitted to the US (FAERS) and the European (EudraVigilance) adverse drug reaction databases until 2019 were performed. The causal relationship was assessed in accordance with the WHO criteria for the European reports. For Germany, prescription data for SSRIs were provided and reporting rates (number of reports/number of prescriptions) were calculated for the reports with possible causal relationship (so called "confirmed reports"). Results: Since 2004, the number of reports referring to suicide/suicidal ideations, self-harm and overdoses increased steadily in the US and EU. However, only a slight increase was seen for the confirmed EU reports. After 2008, the proportion of reports informing about suicidal ideations increased, while the proportion of fatal suicide attempts decreased. Reporting rates were higher for females and adolescents (12-18 years). Conclusions: Our results demonstrate the importance of further monitoring suicidality in 0-24 year olds treated with SSRI in order to recognize suicidality early avoiding fatal suicide attempts. The higher reporting rates for females and adolescents should be further investigated.