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Vivactil and Suicide

In clinical studies on Vivactil and suicide, the antidepressant caused an increase in suicidal thoughts or behavior when given to children and teenagers. Certain people also appear to be at higher risk for suicidal behavior, including those with bipolar disorder and those who have attempted suicide in the past. If you are taking Vivactil and suicidal behavior occurs, report this to your healthcare provider right away.

Vivactil and Suicide: An Overview

Vivactil® (protriptyline hydrochloride) is a prescription medication used for the treatment of depression in adults. It is part of a group of medications called tricyclic antidepressants. As with all antidepressants, there may be an increased risk of suicidal behavior when taking Vivactil.
 

The FDA's Warning on Vivactil and Suicide

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a special warning about the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior with antidepressant use in children and teenagers. The warning was issued in response to concerns that antidepressants seemed to increase the risk of suicidal behavior in children and teenagers in clinical studies.
 
Although Vivactil is not approved for use in children and teenagers, it may be used in an "off-label" fashion to treat people in these age groups.
 

Does Vivactil Cause Suicide?

In clinical studies, it did appear that there was a slightly increased risk of suicidal behavior in children and teenagers who took antidepressants, including Vivactil. In one study, about 4 percent of children and teens taking an antidepressant had suicidal thoughts or behavior, compared to 2 percent of children and teens who were not taking an antidepressant. This study looked at all suicidal behavior, including suicides, attempted suicides, and thoughts about committing suicide. It is important to note that no one in the study actually committed suicide.
 
It is difficult to know for sure if antidepressants actually cause suicidal behavior. To make matters more confusing, depression itself can cause suicidal behavior. The bottom line is that you should report any signs of suicidal behavior to your healthcare professional, whether you are taking an antidepressant or not.
 
Certain people seem to be at higher risk for suicidal behavior while taking antidepressants. This includes people with bipolar disorder (or a family history of bipolar disorder) and people who have attempted suicide (or who have a family history of suicide attempts).
 
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Vivactil Drug Information

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