Painkiller ziconotide 'may trigger suicidal ideation'

Written by: Nairita Das
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Washington, Nov 24 (ANI): The active agent ziconotide, the synthetic toxin of the cone snail (Conus magus), is apparently responsible for patients committing suicide.

Christoph Maier, of the Ruhr University and colleagues have presumed that ziconotide not only suppresses the transmission of pain stimuli, but also deteriorates the frame of mind and could simultaneously reduce anxiety and impulse control.

These mechanisms could promote suicidal tendencies in vulnerable patients. The research scientists thus advise careful diagnosis and monitoring of the psychic condition of patients treated with ziconotide.

The researchers in Bochum analysed numerous studies, registering an increasing number of attempted suicides, which the original authors had not attributed to the ziconotide treatment.

Maier said there is a causality between ziconotide and suicidal tendencies. The pain specialist strongly emphasizes that the pharmaceutical companies and approval authorities should urgently investigate this yet again.

All patients must be analysed for possible psychic disorders before treatment commences and closely monitored irrespective of pain relief due to the drug.

The findings were published in the medical journal Pain. (ANI)

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