Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Seroquel® Suicide

As with any antipsychotic medication, there are Seroquel® suicide risks associated with the use of this prescription medication. Seroquel® use has not been formally associated with significant suicide risks, but Seroquel® suicide is a side effect that is important to consider. Seroquel® was originally approved by the FDA in 1997 to treat the hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia of schizophrenia. In 2004, the FDA approved AstraZeneca's Seroquel® to treat bipolar patients. Seroquel® is prescribed for a number of off-label uses including anxiety, depression, Alzheimer's, and dementia as well.
Seroquel® suicide risks are a factor to consider regardless of a person's illness, though Seroquel® suicide risks may be particularly notable in patients who take this medication for bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder affects three to four percent of the population and is considered the sixth leading cause of disability. Bipolar disorder is characterized by vacillations between extreme highs and lows in mood and mental state from mania to depression.
Patients who suffer from Bipolar disorder often experience extreme states of mania characterized by euphoria, hyperactivity, impulsivity, racing thoughts, and the like. These patients also typically experience extreme lows characterized by depression, sadness, and potentially, suicidal ideations. Seroquel® suicide information indicates that one out of four bipolar patients will attempt suicide at some point in their lives. It is estimated that more than ten percent of bipolar patients will commit suicide. These risks, in and of themselves, raise the issue of Seroquel® suicide risks, since this patient population is at an increased risk of suicide due to their condition.
Seroquel® was approved to treat bipolar disorder in large part because of clinical trial evidence suggesting its efficiency in reducing Seroquel® suicide and other risks. The BOLDER trial included over one thousand bi-polar participants who were given Seroquel® or a placebo. The results suggest that Seroquel® use caused a decrease in subject's core depressive symptoms and successfully alleviated manic symptoms soon after treatment commenced. This trial also suggested a very low rate of unfavorable treatment-emergent symptoms of mania.
The results of this clinical trial suggest that Seroquel® suicide risks may actually be reduced in certain patient populations. There are case studies which point to the contrary, suggesting that Seroquel® suicide and other risk factors may be increased by this drug's use. Some patients who have taken Seroquel® for schizophrenia have exhibited treatment induced states of mania that did not occur prior to Seroquel® use and remitted after terminating treatment. In such cases, Seroquel® suicide risks may be greater.
The majority of evidence to date suggests that Seroquel® use prevents suicide more often than it causes suicidal behaviors in patients. Because the risk of Seroquel® suicide does exist, it is important that patients be carefully monitored for any signs of Seroquel® side effects or other changes in behavior. To learn more about Seroquel® suicide, you may wish to speak with an attorney who can advise you of your legal rights and options.

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