Federal officials are requesting that the makers of epilepsy drugs add a black box warning to their labels that will warn about suicidal thoughts and behavior. The FDA will meet an outside advisory panel for its recommendations on the proposed black box at an assembly scheduled for this Thursday.
In 2005, the FDA began investigating the potential link between epilepsy drugs and suicide. 11 anti-seizure drugs were analyzed, some of which have been on the market for decades. Almost 28,000 people were given epilepsy medications while 16,000 were given placebos.
Around .43 percent of the patients taking the drug experienced suicidal thoughts or behavior that lasted for at least 24 weeks. In fact, four people who were in the drug-treated groups committed suicide. For every 1,000 patients two more experienced suicidal thoughts than those taking the placebo.
One of the issues that federal officials will discuss is whether all of the epilepsy drugs, or just some, should be subjected to the black box label. For more information about dangerous drugs, click here.