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New data on paroxetine-suicide link

A new analysis by GlaxoSmith-Kline of its data on paroxetine has shown increased risks of suicidal behaviour are mainly restricted to young adults.

The Commission on Human Medicines has sent out a letter to health professionals in response to the research reiterating its advice to closely monitor young adults aged 18 to 29.

The new analysis, published on the GSK website, found 2.2 per cent of adults aged 18-24 who took paroxetine displayed suicidal behaviour, proportionally more than in older adults.

It also found evidence of an increase in suicide attempts in adults with major depressive disorder treated with paroxetine compared with placebo.

Eight of the 11 patients with suicidal behaviour included in the dataset were aged 18-30, suggesting the increased risk of suicidal behaviour was mainly in younger patients.

Professor Gordon Duff, chair of the commission, said it was evaluating the new analysis. 'Following our further investigations and discussions with other European regulatory agencies the Seroxat product information will be updated as needed.'

Dr Brian Crichton, a GP in Solihull, West Midlands, and honorary lecturer in therapeutics and pharmacology at the University of Warwick, said GPs should monitor patients on paroxetine more closely.

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