Antiepileptic drugs and suicidality

Journal of Psychopharmacology, 03/22/2012

The current review suggests there are no convincing data concerning a ‘class effect’ of antiepileptics in inducing any type of suicide-related behaviours.

  • The current study is a systematic review of the literature concerning the possible relationship of antiepileptics and suicide-related clinical features and behaviours.
  • A MEDLINE search returned 863 papers but only five were chosen as relevant.
  • A critical analysis of the Food and Drug Administration report is also included.
  • Further research is needed concerning topiramate, lamotrigine and maybe leviracetam.
  • Clinicians are expected to inform patients and their families on the possible increased risk but it is important not to overemphasise the issue, since stopping or refusing to start antiepileptics may result in serious harm, including death of the patient.

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