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Drugs must carry suicide warning


Warnings that anti-seizure drugs may promote suicidal tendencies have been issued by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

It has alerted medical professionals after announcing that labelling will now be required for more than 20 medications used to control seizures, psychiatric disorders and nerve pain.

Blockbuster products such as GlaxoSmithKline’s Lamictal, Johnson & Johnson’s Topamax and Pfizer’s Lyrica are among those that will now have to carry the new health warning.

The FDA says that there is increased “risk of suicidal thoughts or behaviour in patients taking these drugs for any indication.”

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It says that the heightened risk is small, and follows an analysis which found that two patients per 1,000 will likely have suicidal thoughts and behaviours when taking the drugs.

Pfizer has said that it is “worked closely with the FDA to update the labelling for its antiepileptic medicines,” while noting that it “applies to all medicines in the antiepileptic class.”

Copyright Press Association 2009

Food and Drug Administration

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