The FDA released a new warning concerning antiepileptic medications and an increased risk of suicide. The FDA will mandate that more than 30 medications prescribed for seizures must carry additional warnings of the increased risk. The agency also released a statement directing physicians to inform patients and their families about the medications. Physicians in Indiana should be receiving these notices very soon.
The newest action taken by the FDA is in response to a review of clinical studies in which patients receiving antiepileptic medications exhibited an increase in suicidal thoughts or behavior. The risk was found to be almost twice as high for patients taking the listed medications, compared to those receiving a placebo.
Doctor Russell Katz, of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research notes, “Patients being treated with antiepileptic drugs for any indication should be monitored for the emergence or worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, or any unusual changes in mood or behavior.” However, patients should not change their course of treatment without consulting their physician.
Seizure is not the only medical condition treated by this class of drug. Some of the medications are also prescribed for treatment of nerve injury, diabetic neuropathy, relief of pain, cluster headaches, and bipolar disorder.
While the agency lists more than 30 medications involved in the most recent warning, many of these drugs are marketed under various brand names and generic counterparts. Consumers should evaluate their medications and compare them to the list provided by the FDA. Several of the more common drugs on the list are:
– Tegretol – Klonopin – Depakote – Neurontin – Keppra – Dilantin – Lyrica – Gabitril – Topamax
You may wish to visit the FDA web site for a complete report of the medications involved. You may also wish to contact your doctor if you or a loved one is currently taking any antiepileptic medication. Discuss with your physician the possible effects and effective treatment options available.
Being fully informed is the first step to protecting yourself and those you love from serious personal injury.