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Birth control pill: New warning indicates possible depression and risk of suicide

Birth control pill: New warning about suicide risk as a possible consequence of depression

It has long been known that taking birth control pills can have numerous side effects. However, some users do not know that the pill and other hormonal contraceptive methods can also have a significant impact on the psyche. Because of this danger, the package insert will in future contain a warning about the risk of depression and suicide.

Drug with side effects

Fast, safe and convenient: Many women still use hormonal contraception. No wonder - the contraceptive pill usually provides reliable protection and sexual freedom when used and used correctly. However, taking the drug is associated with unpleasant side effects. This can lead to weight gain and headaches, among other things. It is also known that birth control pills pose a high risk of thrombosis. In addition, the pill and other hormonal contraceptive methods can have consequences for the psyche of the users. This should also be pointed out on the leaflets in the future.

Consult a doctor if you experience mood swings and depressive symptoms

"Depressive mood and depression are well-known side effects when using hormonal contraceptives," the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) wrote in a message.

"Depression can be serious and is a well-known risk factor for suicidal behavior and suicide," it continues.

The BfArM and several pharmaceutical companies have now sent a letter, primarily to doctors and pharmacists, that a new warning message will be included in the technical information and patient information leaflet on the recommendation of the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

According to the so-called Rote-Hand-Brief, women should be advised "in the event of mood swings and depressive symptoms - even if they occur shortly after the start of treatment - to contact your doctor."

Increased risk of suicide

Last year's EMA recommendation goes back to a Danish study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

The researchers led by √ėjvind Lidegaard from the University of Copenhagen had evaluated data from almost 500,000 women and found a connection between hormonal contraception and an increased risk of suicide.

Of the women, 6,999 had attempted suicide and 71 had committed suicide.

According to the study authors, users of hormonal contraceptives had around twice as high a risk of suicide attempts compared to non-users and a triple of the risk of completed suicide.

"The risk determined was higher in the age group of 15-19 year olds than in older users," writes the BfArM.

However, the EMA concluded that "due to the limitation of the available data, no clear causal relationship could be determined." (Ad)

Author and source information

Video: Doctors on Call - Depression, Anxiety u0026 Suicide (October 2021).