Thursday, May 24, 2012

Suicidal Behavior, Severe Neuropsychiatric Disorders Follow Glucocorticoid Prescription

Glucocorticoids increase the risk of suicidal behavior and neuropsychiatric disorders. Researchers in London recently examined data from all adult patients registered between 1990 and 2008 at general practices contributing to the United Kingdom's Health Improvement Network primary care database. Overall, 372,696 patients received 786,868 courses of oral glucocorticoids. The researchers identified 109 cases of suicide or suicide attempt and 10,220 cases of severe neuropsychiatric disorders in these patients. They found that people treated with glucocorticoids have a twofold higher risk of developing depression, a fourfold to fivefold higher risk of developing mania or delirium/confusion/disorientation, and nearly a sevenfold higher risk of committing or attempting suicide compared with people unexposed to glucocorticoids.

"Educating patients and their families about these adverse events and increasing primary care physicians' awareness about their occurrence should facilitate early monitoring," wrote the researchers in the May American Journal of Psychiatry.

Read more about the study in Psychiatric News, here.

(Image: conrado/


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