Less Than Zero


More whittling away at logic and critical thinking . . .

WASHINGTON (AP) — Patients on some popular antidepressants should be closely monitored for warning signs of suicide, the government warned Monday in asking the makers of 10 drugs to add the caution to their labels.


Hello!? Patients suffering from clinical depression — that’s why they’re taking the antidepressants, right? — should be monitored for signs of suicide no matter what course of treatment they’re on.

It isn’t clear yet that the drugs actually do lead to suicide, the FDA stressed. After all, depression itself can lead to suicide.

Right! So why the warning labels? Here’s why:

Among 25 studies of the suspect medications involving 4,000 children and teens, there were no completed suicides. But 109 patients experienced one or more possibly suicide-related behaviors or attempts, the FDA says.

First of all, if you picked 4,000 teens at random, and at least 109 of them haven’t experienced “possibly suicide-related behaviors,” I’ll eat my own head.

And there were no suicides. Zero.

I once went to a city council meeting where one of the topics on the table was a proposed study to determine if traffic safety could be improved by changing the timing of the signals at one of our major intersections.

One of the council members pointed out that there had never been a traffic accident at that intersection, so how were we going to improve on that by changing the timing of the signals?

Strangely enough, the fact that you can’t reduce the incidence of a phenomenon to less than zero didn’t stop the other four council members from approving the study, just as it didn’t stop the FDA from recommending warning labels on the antidepressants . . .

  1 comment for “Less Than Zero

  1. Avatar
    2 Feb 2007 at 8:16 pm

    What will you advise for treatment of depression? In fact it is very dangerous, when depression passes in the chronic form. WBR LeoP

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