This is a brief summary of research on the links between anti-acne medication and suicide. Changes to the way this medication is regulated in NZ have meant that it can now be prescribed by GPs rather than being restricted to specialists.
Many of those working in the suicide prevention field claim their policies and practices are evidence based. Examination of the research they use, however, shows the studies on which they rely are up to 30 years old. Many have serious methodological issues. Many have been superceded by more recent studies.
This page provides links to current, relevant research. CASPER gives most weight to independent research which is not funded by pharmaceutical companies. If you have research you think we should include on this page, please contact us.
Anti Acne Medication & Suicide
Study on Relative Risks of Antidepressants in Children
The NZ government advises that fluoxetine (prozac) is safer than other antidepressants for children. This long term study of the relative risks of suicidality in young people taking a range of antidepressants shows fluoxetine is no safer than other antidepressants our government says are too dangerous to prescribe to children. It also shows children on antidepressants are five times more likely to commit suicide on the drugs than children in the general population (of whom our government says 45% have a mental illness). In addition to the study, I have posted a link to the information on antidepressants provided by Waitemata DHB on their website. You will see that the study found fluoxetine carried the same or greater suicide risks than treatments our District Health Boards are telling patients and famililes are unlikely to work or to be harmful.
CASPER Website Report
After 8 days of being live, the CASPER website has had 2922 hits from 166 visitors resident in five different countries. The bounce rate of 23% shows that 87% of people who visit the site do not leave straight away. The average time on the site is 11:07. The forum (particularly the support threads)followed by the research page are the most visited. We have had many emails from people supporting the website and the work of CASPER and several requests for questionnaires from families who have lost a loved one to suicide. Please continue to let your friends and contacts know about CASPER and the site. Thanks to Websiterepairmen for providing us with the data that will help us ensure the site meets the needs of its users.
Justice for Suicide Survivors
This letter was sent to Minister of Justice Simon Power on 26 September 2010. We attached the research under the heading Internet Support Group for families bereaved by suicide on this page. Please contact us if you have other justice sector issues you would like us to raise should he agree to meet with us.
Earlier this year CASPER wrote to the Ministry of Health raising concerns that information it was providing visitors to its website depression.org.nz was unscientific and undermined informed consent. The Ministry replied (3 months later) defending its position on providing information without evidence to support it. We incorrectly reported that the ministry had subsequently removed the misleading fact sheet. Sadly we were wrong. The fact sheet says depression involves changes in brain chemistry. You will see in the correspondence with the Ministry that they acknowledge they do not have evidence to support this. The attached research on serotonin and depression shows the lack of evidence for the claims the Ministry make and how such claims are about marketing not medicine. The quotes from table 1 are from world leaders in this field.