Researchers Investigate Antidepressant-Induced Suicidal Ideation


An increase in suicidal thoughts is a known and serious side-effect for various types of antidepressants. Recent studies suggest that there may be some genetic factors that increase the risk for this reaction. A new study, in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, identifies two specific genetic variants that are associated with worsening suicidal ideation in patients taking antidepressants.

Open Access ‚Üí

The researchers led by Geraldine Voegeli of the VA San Diego Healthcare System did genotype testing on 78 patients who experienced a worsening of suicidality while on antidepressants and compared the results to patients in antidepressants who did not report a worsening of these symptoms. They found that two common genetic variants affecting the neurotrophin pathway, involved in the development and function of neurons, were associated with antidepressant-worsening suicidal ideation.



Voegeli, G., Ramoz, N., Shekhtman, T., Courtet, P., Gorwood, P. and Kelsoe, J.R., 2016. Neurotrophin Genes and Antidepressant-Worsening Suicidal Ideation: A Prospective Case-Control Study. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, p.pyw059. (Full Text)


  1. The new trend in the field of mental health research is epigenetic testing to better target psychiatric drug usage. While it is good to to hear that some researchers are following this line of research, because it is an acknowledgement of sorts, that there is such as thing as iatrogenic harm and that psychiatric drugs have paradoxical effects for many people who take psychiatric medications, it may prove to be a red herring.

    There is growing clamor to the end of the trial by error prescribing practices which harms so many, but realistically, they have been trying to find the ‘gene’ responsible for addiction and the ‘genes’ for mental illness for decades without any success. Now, suddenly, we are supposed to believe that some people are genetically predisposed to be harmed by psychiatric medication and some are pre-disposed to be helped by psychiatric medication? Why are we using psychiatric medications in the first place when we haven’t established their long term efficacy, v.s. safer alternatives, long term harms, and the degree to which people become habituated to them?

    Everything in the field of neuropsychiatric research seems to happen in a back assward fashion.

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  2. And they haven’t found a practical way to identify people liable to be susceptible to bad reactions with antidepressants? I’m aghast. I’m a weirdo nobody and I know how, with the aid of my HOD test, so I can find out if you have a lot of dysperceptions, one sign you’re likely unsuitable for antidepressants. I’d also ask you certain questions, such as about absence of sense of taste and smell, to see if it’s something I can momentarily treat- I’m no pro, but I can probably keep you off the tracks and away from tall buildings for awhile. This is pitiful.

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  3. If you look at dozens of things that vary, in only 78 subjects, one of them will line up with the way the 78 are divided Suicidal on ADs versus not suicidal on ADs). You then must find 78 more subjects, preferably 7800, and see if the association holds. I suppose I should read the study instead of assuming it was done wrong. I’ll come back and correct myself if I misjudged it.

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