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Keywords:

  • antidepressants;
  • mood stabilizers;
  • antipsychotics;
  • suicide;
  • treatment

Abstract

Objective

The aim of the study was to ascertain the clinical course of patients admitted to a psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) just after a suicide attempt (SA) and to evaluate the effectiveness of 2nd generation antipsychotics and mood stabilizers in these patients.

Methods

We examined all the 129 patients discharged in a three-year period, who had been admitted after a SA and considered in the analysis the 82 cases non-transferred (in the first 72 h) to other PICUs for administrative or logistic reasons. Among them, 47 received a complete neuropsychiatric assessment. We distinguished between patients who had been treated with Antidepressants (AD) or not in the three months preceding hospitalization.

Results

We treated all patients with mood stabilizers and 2nd generation antipsychotics. Only one patient was treated with AD in the course of current hospitalization. Both cases treated and not treated with AD before admission improved significantly, especially in symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as in suicidality. The suicidal risk abated without AD treatment.

Conclusions

In patients with impending suicide risk, AD should not be considered standard treatment. Mood stabilizers and 2nd generation antipsychotics can be effective. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.