Association between psychotropic drug prescription and suicide rates in Scotland: Population study

Fhionna R. Moore (Lead / Corresponding author), Mairi MacLeod, Trevor A. Harley

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Abstract

Aims and method: Rates of prescriptions of antidepressants and suicide are inversely correlated at an epidemiological level. Less attention has been paid to relationships between other drugs used in mental health and suicide rates. Here we tested relationships between prescriptions of anxiolytics and antipsychotics and suicide rates in Scotland.

Results: Suicide rates were inversely correlated with prescriptions of antidepressants and antipsychotics over 14 years (2004-2018), and positively with prescriptions of anxiolytics.

Clinical implications: This illustrates the role of medications used in mental health in suicide prevention, and highlights the importance of identifying causal mechanisms that link anxiolytics with suicide.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages3
JournalBJPsych Bulletin
Early online date22 Sep 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • anti-anxiety drugs
  • antidepressants
  • antipsychotics
  • epidemiology
  • Suicide

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