Suicide medical therapy

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Suicide Microchapters


Patient Information



Epidemiology and Demographics

Risk Factors


Physical Examination

Laboratory Findings

Psychiatric evaluation


Medical Therapy




Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] ; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Aditya Ganti M.B.B.S. [2]


Effective medical management include hospitalization of high risk individuals and stabilizing.


Medical management of patients who underwent suicide attempt or at high risk to commit suicide include:[1][2]

  • Hospitalization
  • Stabilization


All patients who attempted or at risk of suicide are admitted into hospital irrespective of their consent. As described identification of risk factors and presence of warning signs warrants an hospitalization.

  • Patients must be isolated and kept in room with minimal potential of harming himself.
  • Family members are allowed to stay if the patient intends.
  • A hospital staff must be assigned to provide constant observation.
  • Transfer of the patient should take place by ambulance, and the paramedics must be aware of the suicide risk.
  • Inpatient treatment should continue until the patient’s safety has stabilized.
  • Patients who are admitted involuntarily cannot be given medications other than that are required for stabilization.
  • In case patients who are not stable to consent and require medications for underlying psychiatric disorders, clinicians will need to petition a court to order treatment.

Outpatient Management

  • Indicated in patients who are stable and not at high risk of suicide attempt and includes:
    • Involvement of the family to regularly monitor the patient
    • Restricting access to all lethal means of suicide
    • Identifying and avoiding triggers for relapse of suicidal ideation and warning signs
    • Educating patients and caregivers
    • Specifying coping strategies and healthy activities
    • Securing mental health follow-up within 48 hours.


  1. Shain B (July 2016). "Suicide and Suicide Attempts in Adolescents". Pediatrics. 138 (1). doi:10.1542/peds.2016-1420. PMID 27354459.
  2. Chun TH, Mace SE, Katz ER (September 2016). "Evaluation and Management of Children and Adolescents With Acute Mental Health or Behavioral Problems. Part I: Common Clinical Challenges of Patients With Mental Health and/or Behavioral Emergencies". Pediatrics. 138 (3). doi:10.1542/peds.2016-1570. PMID 27550977.

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