Suicidal status during antidepressant treatment in 789 Sardinian patients with major affective disorder
Article first published online: 7 APR 2008
Copyright © 2008 The Authors. Journal Compilation © 2008 Blackwell Munksgaard
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Volume 118, Issue 2, pages 106–115, August 2008
How to Cite
Tondo, L., Lepri, B. and Baldessarini, R. J. (2008), Suicidal status during antidepressant treatment in 789 Sardinian patients with major affective disorder. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 118: 106–115. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2008.01178.x
- Issue published online: 10 JUL 2008
- Article first published online: 7 APR 2008
- Accepted for publication February 18, 2008
- bipolar disorders;
- depression rating scale;
- major depression;
Objective: Relationships between antidepressant treatment and suicidality remain uncertain in major depressive disorder (MDD), and rarely evaluated in bipolar disorder (BPD).
Method: We evaluated changes in suicidality ratings (Hamilton Depression Rating Scale item-3) at the start and after 3.59 ± 2.57 months of sustained antidepressant treatment in a systematically assessed clinical sample (n = 789) of 605 patients with MDD, 103 patients with BPD-II and 81 patients with BPD-I (based on DSM-IV; 68.1% women; aged 44.3 ± 16.1 years), comparing suicidal vs. non-suicidal and recovered vs. unrecovered initially suicidal patients.
Results: Suicidal patients (103/789, 16.5%; BPD/MDD risk: 2.2) were more depressed and were ill longer. During treatment, 81.5% of suicidal patients became non-suicidal; 0.46% of 656 initially non-suicidal patients reported new suicidal thoughts, with no new attempts. Becoming non-suicidal was associated with greater depression severity and greater improvement.
Conclusion: Suicidal ideation was prevalent in patients with depressed major affective disorder, but most of the initially suicidal patients became non-suicidal with antidepressant treatment, independent of diagnosis, treatment type or dose.