Luvox CR and Suicide
The risk of developing suicidal thoughts and behavior appears to increase in children and teenagers taking antidepressants such as Luvox CR. However, since depression can also cause suicidal behavior, it's difficult to know if this is truly caused by the medication. If you notice any signs of suicidal behavior, such as violent behavior or thoughts about death, contact your healthcare provider right away.
An Overview of Luvox CR and Suicide
Luvox® CR (fluvoxamine CR) is a prescription medication used for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It is part of a group of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
Because of the way it works in the brain, Luvox CR is classified as an antidepressant. As with all antidepressants, there may be an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior when taking Luvox CR.
The FDA's Warning on Suicide and Luvox CRThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a special warning about the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior with antidepressant use in children, adolescents, and young adults up to the age of 25. The warning was issued due to concerns that antidepressants seemed to increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in these groups of people in clinical studies.
Although Luvox CR is not approved for use in children and adolescents, it may be used "off-label" in this age group.
Does Luvox CR Cause Suicide?
In previous short-duration clinical studies, it did appear that there was a slightly increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior (known as "suicidality") in children, adolescents, and young adults aged 24 and younger who took antidepressants such as Luvox CR.
Specifically, about 4 percent of children, adolescents, and young adults taking an antidepressant had suicidal thoughts or behavior, compared to 2 percent of those who were not taking an antidepressant.
This increased risk was only seen in age groups younger than 25 years. In fact, people aged 65 and older appeared to have a lower risk for suicidality when treated with antidepressants, compared to those not treated with antidepressants.
However, the term "suicidality" is not the same as completed suicides. The antidepressant studies looked at all suicidal behavior, including completed suicides, attempted suicides, and thoughts about committing suicide. Suicidality describes thinking about suicide and actions related to suicide. It is important to note that none of the children or adolescents in the studies actually committed suicide.
It is difficult to know for sure if antidepressants actually cause the suicidal thoughts and behaviors. To make matters more confusing, depression itself, as well as other mental health problems, can cause this behavior. The bottom line is that you should report any signs of suicidal thoughts or behavior to your healthcare professional, regardless of whether you are taking an antidepressant.
Certain people seem to be at a higher risk of suicidal behavior while taking antidepressants. These people include those with bipolar disorder or a family history of bipolar disorder and people who have attempted suicide or have a family history of suicide attempts.