Efficacy of psychotropic medications on suicide and self-injury

Translational PsychiatryScott Cunningham MD PhD, et al. | September 22, 2022



Although psychotropic medications are often used to treat and/or prevent SITBs, it is unknown which psychotropic medications, if any, are effective. The current study showed that psychotropic medications had a nominal effect on SITBs.

The literature was searched for studies that reported causal effects of psychotropic medications on suicide and self-injury.

Based on 251 studies, the use of psychotropic medications to treat and/or prevent SITBs resulted in an 8% reduction in frequency and a 0.2 standard deviation decrease in symptoms and severity. Citalopram and ketamine yielded greater than average effects (20%). No medications had an effect on suicide attempts or death.