Health: Suicide Watch

The FDA calls for stronger warnings on antidepressant drugs. Don't panic yet

The surprise warning issued by the Food and Drug Administration last week that people taking antidepressants can become suicidal and should be closely monitored probably came as a shock to the millions of Americans who take these pills. It's important to understand what the advisory means--and doesn't mean--and not to overreact.

The FDA didn't tell people taking the drugs to stop cold turkey--that can be dangerous. Nor did it tell doctors to stop writing prescriptions for depressed patients. What the agency did say was that in the first few weeks after a patient starts taking an antidepressant, or when the...

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