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Do Antipsychotic Medications Decrease the Risk of Suicide in Patients With Schizophrenia?

Danica D. Palmer, MD; Ioline D. Henter, MA; and Richard Jed Wyatt, MD

Published: February 1, 1999

Article Abstract

The lifetime risk of suicide in persons with schizophrenia is much greater than that in the general population. The role of antipsychotic medications in decreasing suicide risk in schizophrenia has been little studied, and results often appear inconclusive and even confusing when issues such as dose-response effect are examined. Yet, evidence exists that both the traditional and newer antipsychotic medications reduce the risk of suicide and suicide attempts in schizophrenia. Because side effects are potentially significant risk factors in suicide, considerable incentive exists to examine whether newer antipsychotic agents that have a lower incidence of extrapyramidal side effects offer greater safety for this population.

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Volume: 60

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