NICE medicines evidence commentary – self-harm in older people

 In Mental Health, NICE guidelines

This medicines evidence commentary document was published in February 2019 and covers the incidence, management and risk of suicide in over 65s with a history of self-harm. A UK study found that the risk of suicide increases in people who have previously self-harmed, with self-poisoning through ingestion of drugs being the most common form of self-harm.

When prescribing antidepressants for people at significant risk of suicide NICE recommends that the prescriber takes into account the toxicity of the drug in overdose. Tricyclic antidepressants are associated with the greatest risk of toxicity in overdose and, therefore, NICE recommends that they should not be prescribed in patients with a history of self-harm.

For more information please visit the NICE website.

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