Association of sedative - Hypnotic medications with suicidality

Chi Un Pae, Jun Sung Koh, Soo Jung Lee, Changsu Han, Ashwin A. Patkar, Prakash S. Masand

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Several studies have investigated the association between sedative - hypnotics and suicidality, as such medications not only serve as a method for suicide, but are also involved in the usual options for treating psychiatric and medico - surgical disorders. According to population-based studies in Europe, Asia and the USA, sedative - hypnotic medications were significantly associated with suicide. However, these studies failed to address psychiatric comorbidities, new hypnotic medications, such as zolpidem, and the specific times at which such medications were used. Recently, Brower and colleagues have investigated the association of the prescription of sedative - hypnotic drugs with suicidality, to determine whether such medications were associated with suicidal ideation, suicide plans and suicide attempts in a large-cohort sample. They found that the use of sedative - hypnotic medications was significantly associated with suicidal ideation, suicide plans and suicide attempts. In addition, the use of sedative - hypnotic medications was a stronger predictor than insomnia of both suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. This article will discuss the relationship between prescription of sedative - hypnotic medications and suicide in the context of the potential limitations and significance of this recent research.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)345-349
    Number of pages5
    JournalExpert Review of Neurotherapeutics
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2011 Mar


    • comorbidity
    • predictor
    • risk
    • sedative-hypnotics
    • suicide

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Neuroscience(all)
    • Clinical Neurology
    • Pharmacology (medical)


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