A review of trials of antidepressants taken by healthy adults with no signs of a mental health disorder has found the drugs used to treat the illness doubled the harms related to suicide and violence.

Experts working on the study said the analysis was undertaken because the harms of antidepressants, including the risk of suicide, are often explained away as if they are disease symptoms or only a problem in children.

Professor Peter Gøtzsche, of the Nordic Cochrane Centre and lead author of the study, said: “While it is now generally accepted that antidepressants increase the risk of suicide and violence in children and adolescents, most people believe that these drugs are not dangerous for adults.

“This is a potentially lethal misconception.”

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