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Newer Antipsychotics Could Offer Protection from Suicide
A growing body of research is indicating that use of second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) may offer a protective effect from suicidal behavior. While this phenomenon previously had been documented primarily with the use of the medication clozapine (Clozaril), a study of hospitalized mental health patients in Israel is demonstrating similar effects in people receiving risperidone (Risperdal) and olanzapine (Zyprexa). Researchers looked at 4,486 people admitted to the Abarbanel Mental Health Center in 1998-2002, 8.4 percent of whom had attempted suicide in the four weeks prior to admission. The researchers found that a significantly higher percentage of patients in the group that had not attempted suicide had been exposed to second-generation antipsychotics, when compared with the group that had attempted suicide.