Drug Suicidality Risks in Younger Patients

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Megan Maroney, PharmD, BCPP, clinical associate professor, Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey; clinical psychiatric pharmacist, Monmouth Medical Center, Long Branch, NJ, discusses the higher risk for potential adverse effects of suicidal ideation and behavior, and depression in younger patients.

Megan Maroney, PharmD, BCPP, clinical associate professor, Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey; clinical psychiatric pharmacist, Monmouth Medical Center, Long Branch, NJ, discusses the higher risk for potential adverse effects of suicidal ideation and behavior, and depression in younger patients. This video was filmed at the ASHP (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists) 54th Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exhibition in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Megan Maroney, PharmD: We do see with several classes of medication that the risk is higher in younger patients. With the antidepressants, the boxed warning applies to children, adolescents and young adults up to age 24 [years]. Part of that, if you think about how the brain develops, our frontal lobe doesn’t [stop] continuing to develop until age 25 [years] or so. That probably has a lot to do with [it]. That is the area that really is responsible for our emotion regulation, decision making—things like that— and impulse control. It kind of makes sense that there would be a higher risk in younger patients. We know we see this also with corticosteroids, for example, in several studies that the data demonstrated that patients that are younger seem to have a higher risk for neuropsychiatric side effects in general, including depression and suicidality.

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