Last week, Robert Gibbons published a paper in the Archives of General Psychiatry in which he claimed, based on his “reanalysis” of the data from studies of fluoxetine in youth, that “treatment with fluoxetine was not found to be related to suicide risk when compared with placebo.” This led Irish psychiatrist David Healy, who has investigated this issue at length, to write a blog in which he categorized the various statistical tricks that Gibbons had employed to come to his conclusion, and he noted that the British Medical Journal described a 2007 paper by Gibbons on this topic “astonishing,” “misleading,” and “reckless.”
But in Healy’s blog, there was a reference to new data from the NIMH’s Treatment for Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS), and therein lies a much more important story.
In his blog, Healy published a table on suicidal events from the NIMH’s TADS study of antidepressants in youth, which had been prepared by a Swedish correspondent, Göran Högberg. That table put the suicidal risk associated with fluoxetine in a different light than had been presented in the published articles about the TADS study, and I thus asked Högberg where he had obtained this “updated data.” He pointed me to a 2009 article authored by Benedetto Vitiello, titled “Suicidal Events in the Treatment for Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS),” which was published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. In particular, Högberg pointed me to a table titled “Timing of First Suicidal Event.” And there, hidden in plain sight, was the real suicide data from the TADS study.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
The Real Suicide Data from the TADS Study Comes to Light | Mad In America