Year: 1999 Source: Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, v.34, no.11, (November 1999), p.609-614 SIEC No: 20101020

This study examined whether altered prescription patterns are associated with changes in the rates of drug-related suicides in Swedish elderly. An ecological study was performed in which rates of suicide by drug poisoning were related to prescription sales of different psychotropic drugs. Rates of suicide using benzodiazepines increased despite decreasing prescription sales. Decreasing tricyclic antidepressant sales & increasing selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor sales were paralleled by decreasing rates of suicides employing antidepressants. The fatality ratio remained more or less unchanged for analgesics among the elderly during the study period. (27 refs.) JA