Skip to main content

Suicide: Antidepressants

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 56515, tabled on 15 October 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason antidepressant use has not been included as a possible cause of suicide in suicide prevention strategies.

Answered on

1 November 2021

The national strategy for suicide reduction in England does not seek to list all potential causes of suicide. The strategy notes that the factors leading to someone taking their own life are complex and supports action to reduce suicide rates by bringing together knowledge about groups at higher risk of suicide, rather than potential causes and by applying evidence of effective interventions and highlighting resources available. As the strategy looks at preventing suicide in high risk groups, it does not include the potential risk that some forms of antidepressant may cause for some people.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency introduced warnings within prescribing and patient information leaflets (PIL) for the most commonly used selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor class of antidepressants. The PIL contains information about the need for close supervision of patients and advises that caregivers should be alerted to monitor for any changes in mood or behaviour and to seek medical advice immediately if these occur.