Narrator: This is Science Today. A new UCLA study disputes recent claims that antidepressants are linked to suicidal behavior. Study leader, Julio Licinio, a professor of psychology and medicine, says in fact, suicide rates in this country have dropped steadily since Prozac and similar drugs, known as serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, first came onto the market.
Licinio: What we show is that since 1960, the mortality for suicide, it was increasing from 1960 until the end of the Eighties. It's a steady increase and then in 1988, which is exactly when the first of these SSRIs came to the market. Since then, death by suicide has been dropping precipitously.
Narrator: Licinio says that the biggest cause of suicide is actually untreated depression.
Licinio: The highest likelihood for suicide ideas and thoughts and eventually, actions is in the context of untreated depression and people should keep that in mind before they make a decision as to whether they get treated or not.Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.