Epilepsy drugs linked to increased risk of suicidal behavior, particularly in young people

Treatment with gabapentinoids — a group of drugs used for epilepsy, nerve pain and anxiety disorders — is associated with an increased risk of suicidal behaviour, unintentional overdose, injuries, and road traffic incidents, finds a study from Sweden published by The BMJ today.

Prescriptions have risen steeply in recent years, and gabapentinoids are among the top 15 drugs globally in terms of revenue.

The risks are strongest among 15 to 24 year-olds, prompting the researchers to suggest that treatment guidelines for young people should be reviewed.

Previous studies have linked gabapentinoids to suicidal behaviour and overdose related deaths, but findings have been inconsistent and data on longer term harms are lacking.

Full story at Science Daily