The flu medication Tamiflu (oseltamivir) is not associated with an increased risk of suicide among children, according to a new study.
Previous studies have drawn a connection between the antiviral drug and psychiatric adverse events, including abnormal behavior, psychosis, and suicide. However, these studies were inconsistent because they relied on older data and were limited by small sample sizes, say researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy.
In order to pinpoint accuracy, researchers set out to analyze the possible association between oseltamivir and suicide. Analysts examined recent data from the national administrative claims database covering 5 flu seasons (2009 to 2013).
Researchers identified 21,047 individuals between 1 and 18 years old who attempted suicide during the 5 flu seasons. Of those, 251 were exposed to Tamiflu at the time of their suicide attempt.
Despite the limitations of the study, such as suicide-related events possibly being under identified, researchers did not find a significantly increased risk between suicide-related events and the use of oseltamivir.