Could a Folic Acid Prescription Help Prevent Suicide? | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness

Could a Folic Acid Prescription Help Prevent Suicide?

Posted on September 30, 2022

A new large-scale study analyzing a database of U.S. medical claims for more than 850,000 Americans found people on prescription folic acid had a 44% decreased likelihood of being treated for self-harm or a suicide attempt. Experts stressed that the new findings do not prove that folic acid reduces suicide risk, that will take a random clinical trial. When evaluating patients for depression, some mental health professionals order blood tests to measure folate, vitamin D and B12. "I do that all the time," said Dr. Christine Crawford, NAMI associate medical director. Given that folic acid is low risk, Crawford said patients already in treatment for depression could talk to their provider about adding the vitamin. "This is not something that should replace standard treatment for mental health conditions," Crawford said. "But it could be used in conjunction with it."


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