NOTICE PAPER NO. 890
NOTICE OF QUESTION FOR ORAL ANSWER
FOR SITTING OF PARLIAMENT ON 11 JANUARY 2022
Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye
MP for Radin Mas GRC
Question No. 2293
To ask the Minister for Health (a) whether the Ministry is aware of any local studies that have examined the relationship between the consumption of anti-depressants and suicide, particularly among youths in Singapore; (b) whether such risks are communicated to the parents of youths who are prescribed with anti-depressants.
MOH is not aware of any local study examining the relationship between consumption of anti-depressants and suicide amongst youths in Singapore. There are overseas studies that have found an association between the consumption of anti-depressants and increased suicidal tendencies in children and adolescents. An association does not establish a causal link.
Nevertheless before prescribing or dispensing such medication, doctors and pharmacists have to counsel youths and their caregivers on the potential risks, side effects and symptoms that may require immediate medical attention. Particularly during the first few weeks of starting or changing an antidepressant, caregivers will be advised to closely monitor the patient for new or worsening thoughts of self-harm, suicidal ideation, and unusual behaviours; and to seek medical advice immediately if these symptoms present.