Antiepileptic Drugs Increase Suicide Risk
Drug regulators are warning clinicians that patients who take drugs to control epileptic seizures or to treat other conditions, such as chronic pain, may be at increased risk for suicide.
The FDA alert, issued in late January, covers all commonly used antiepileptic drugs. The agency said it will begin requiring makers of the medications to include the risk for suicide on the products’ labeling. The FDA acknowledged that no cause-and-effect relationship has been established between suicide and antiepileptic drugs and did not advise physicians to stop prescribing these medications (Table 1).
Table 1. Antiepileptic Drugs Associated With Suicide
Felbamate (Felbatol, MedPointe Pharmaceuticals)
Levetiracetam (Keppra, UCB Pharma)
Oxcarbazepine (Trileptal, Novartis)
Pregabalin (Lyrica, Pfizer)
Tiagabine (Gabitril, Cephalon)
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