BACKGROUND: It remains unclear how SSRIs and other antidepressants are associated with the risk of repeated suicide attempts. We aimed to analyse the association between redeemed antidepressant prescriptions and the risk of repeated suicide attempts, hypothesising that antidepressant treatment is associated with increased risk of repeated suicide attempts.
METHODS: The study was based on Danish register data and a validated cohort of 1842 suicide attempts. We used three Cox regression models (crude, adjusted and propensity score matched) to analyse the data; these models included both static and dynamic time-dependent factors.
RESULTS: 1842 individuals attempted suicide in the study period, with a total of 210 repeated attempts. Individuals redeeming antidepressant prescriptions were more likely to repeat a suicide attempt. All crude models showed all antidepressants to be significant risk factors (HR around 1.39), whereas all adjusted models showed all antidepressants to be insignificant risk factors.
CONCLUSION: We found no significant increased risk of repeated suicide attempts in individuals redeeming a prescription for any antidepressant (or only SSRIs) when considering the individuals' baseline risk of repetition. This study is based on validated suicide attempts, register data, and strong epidemiology designs, but it still has some limitations, and the results should be replicated and confirmed in other studies.