Author(s): Maier C, Gockel HH, Gruhn K, Krumova EK, Edel MA
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Abstract Despite some other known psychiatric adverse effects, ziconotide is recommended for intrathecal pain treatment with a good efficacy and safety. Although some hints in previous studies are apparent, a higher suicidality has not been accepted as a treatment risk of ziconotide treatment by the investigators in the former randomized controlled trials so far. We present two cases supporting the suspicion of ziconotide-induced suicidality. Both showed no depressive symptoms at the time of treatment initiation. One patient performed suicide under low-dose (cumulative dosage: 779μg) 4 weeks after the onset of intrathecal ziconotide treatment despite sufficient pain relief. Another female patient with a history of depression, but free of symptoms under antidepressive medication since more than 15 years, developed severe suicidal ideation 2 months after ziconotide treatment (cumulative dosage: about 2900μg) with rapid recovery after drug discontinuation. The patient, who has completed suicide, had earlier given rise to discuss a potential depressive disorder, however, this diagnosis was scrapped, but the second patient had a clear history of depression. These cases substantiate the suspicion of a causal relationship between ziconotide and suicidality even in symptom-free patients with a history of depression. Therefore, a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation is unavoidable before and during ziconotide treatment. Copyright © 2010 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Pain
and referenced in Journal of Analytical & Bioanalytical Techniques