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 May 10, 2005
FDA seeking suicide data for epilepsy drugs
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WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration has started looking into whether epilepsy drugs might raise the risk of suicide in some patients.

The agency is especially concerned with the drugs' effects on people who use them for psychiatric illnesses -- such as bipolar disorder -- instead of seizure prevention.

Makers of all epilepsy medicines have been asked to re-examine their research on the drugs for evidence of increased suicide risk.

It's the same type of analysis the F-D-A ordered last year on antidepressants, amid controversy over their use by children and teen-agers. Those drugs were ultimately linked to an increase in suicidal thoughts and actions in a fraction of young patients.

The latest move was reportedly prompted by an attorney's claims against a leading anticonvulsant, Neurontin (nur-RAHN'-tin). The petition cites 25 reports of suicides among users of the drug. The F-D-A is investigating the claim.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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