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October 2021

Parasuicide and psychotropic medication: Clinical data and drugs used for overdose in 202 parasuicides

Author(s): Wasserman, D.

Journal/Book: Arch Suicide Res. 1999; 5: Spuiboulevard 50, PO Box 17, 3300 AA Dordrecht, Netherlands. Kluwer Academic Publ. 113-123.

Abstract: We have earlier reported on medications used for overdose in 812 consecutive parasuicides. Different studies have found some kind of depression in 30-80% of parasuicides. Therefore, we then interpreted our finding that only 5% used antidepressants for overdoses as a possible indicator of underprescribing of these drugs in suicidal patients. In this study based on an extensive interview of 202 hospitalized parasuicides (69% psychiatric in-patients), we found that women used antidepressants and anxiolytics relatively more frequently for overdose (11% and 21%) than did men (3% and 8%), younger persons used more frequently analgesics (25%), and elderly more frequently hypnotics (75% in men above 75 years of age, and 57% in women above 75). Interestingly, those who took antidepressants in overdose reported lower suicide intent, while those who took anxiolytics reported more depressive symptoms. It is concluded that depressive syndromes frequently includes symptoms of anxiety and that such patients should be treated with antidepressants and not with anxiolytics alone.

Note: Article Isacsson G, Huddinge Univ Hosp, Dept Psychiat, M59, S-14186 Huddinge, SWEDEN

Keyword(s): antidepressants; attempted suicide; overdose; parasuicide; psychotropics; ATTEMPTED-SUICIDE; ANTIDEPRESSANTS; PREVENTION; DEPRESSION; SWEDEN; ADOLESCENTS; MULTICENTER; DISORDERS; PEOPLE; HARM

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