Skip to comments.In Kids, Benefits of Antidepressants Appear to Outweigh Risks
Posted on 04/17/2007 11:30:45 PM PDT by neverdem
Parents of clinically depressed children often find themselves in a troubling quandary, forced to weigh the mood-lifting benefits of antidepressants against the small but very real risk of suicidal behavior that may occur in young people who take these drugs. The Food and Drug Administration requires a black box warning on antidepressants (including Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft) concerning the possibility of suicidal thoughts, attempts, and behaviors in anyone under 25 who takes the drugs. But a new study, published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association, indicates that the drugs' benefits outweigh the risks.
Researchers examined 27 clinical trials of antidepressants in kids, involving a total of 5,300 children and teens diagnosed with depression or anxiety. Their conclusion: 61 percent of depressed children on antidepressants felt better, compared with 50 percent of the children who took a placebo; 52 percent of those with obsessive-compulsive disorder benefited from the drugs, compared with 32 percent of those on placebos. It did turn out to be true that the kids taking medication also had a higher incidence of suicidal thoughts, but the difference was very small. Three percent of depressed youngsters using the drugs had suicidal tendencies, compared with 2 percent of those on placebos; the gap for those being treated for obsessive-compulsive disorders was about 1 percent versus 0.5 percent. "We tried to put the risks in the context of the benefits, and clearly many more children received a clinical benefit than developed suicidal ideation," says study coauthor David Brent, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
The findings come with some important caveats: Most of the trials analyzed excluded teens and children who were determined beforehand to be at increased risk of suicide. What's more, the study found that for children under 13, Prozac was the only drug that offered greater clinical benefits than the placebos. "The JAMA article does not change FDA's views about the suicidality risk or, indeed, about the effectiveness of these drugs in children with depression," says Thomas Laughren, FDA director of the psychiatry products division in an E-mailed statement. "At this time nothing indicates a need for change in the black box warning."
But statistics suggest otherwise. According to a February report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicides in children, which had been declining, rose by 18 percent from 2003 to 2004. The FDA held its first public hearings to warn about antidepressant risks in children in 2003 and added the black box in 2004. Since that time, prescriptions written for antidepressants in children have declined by 20 percent. "I think the warning needs to be reconsidered," says Brent, "something that's not so scary might be more appropriate."
"Investigators believe Cho at some point had been taking medication for depression. "
Is this timing just coincidence?
IMHO, they to test for slow metabolizers of these drugs.
IMHO, they need to test for slow metabolizers of these drugs.
Not this week.
It seems that every time there is a mass shooting, it’s some kid who’s on antidepressants.
That may be true, but that's not the same thing as saying antidepressants make kids shoot up schools. To me, it seems pretty likely that the kind of kids who are likely to be on antidepressants are also the kind of kids who are likely to be depressed, and feeling destructive and suicidal.
Children do not need anti-depressants.
Thanks for the URL.
Some might, but they should be closely monitored or screened for a genetic predisposition for adverse drug effects with these psychotropic drugs. With the latest SSRIs, on starting these drugs or increasing the dose, you might find serotonin syndrome. Weaning them off, you may find serotonin withdrawal syndrome.
If I was a kid, I can't imagine how much I would not like to be growing up now.
FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.
That may be true, but that's not the same thing as saying antidepressants make kids shoot up schools. To me, it seems pretty likely that the kind of kids who are likely to be on antidepressants are also the kind of kids who are likely to be depressed, and feeling destructive and suicidal.The great thing about depression, is that no matter how bad or angry you feel you don't have the energy to kill yourself or others. However, when you start taking the SSRI you know how the energy to act. That's why people are supposed to be closely monitored when they start taking anti-depressants. They finally have the energy to do the self destructive things they've been contemplating for so long.
These drugs build up in some people, and they have a violent episode. My sisterinlaw had an episode a year ago and was hospitalized.
I have seen first hand the damage these drugs can do to kids. Natural therapies, such as fish oil and zinc, etc., should be tried first. It does not appear to me that medicine is willing to try it.
According to reports, Cho seldom spoke. Could it be he was taking too many drugs? It does seem that all these mass killers are on drugs. Agreed, that does not mean the drugs are the cause but it is suspicious. I have seen first hand the damage these drugs can do to kids. Natural therapies, such as fish oil and zinc, etc., should be tried first. It does not appear to me that medicine is willing to try it.fish oil and zinc are cheap. Prozac probably has a higher profit margin than crack.
What people seem to forget is that even with drugs, depressed people need to be in regular competent counseling!
It seems that every time there is a mass shooting, its some kid whos on antidepressants.
Article on the makers of Prozac hiding vital info on the drug....
_____________________Thanks for the link.
As much as I don’t care for him, he is right on this subject.
depressed people need to be in regular competent counseling!
They do not need to be depressed for doctors to give it to them. And they certainly not monitored.
_I have a friend who had to get off the estrogen patch and was having night sweats.............her doctor put her on effexor.
Primary care doctors prescribe SSRI-antidepressants to millions of adults, adolescents and children, certainly not only for treatment of depression anymore. SSRIs are prescribed for school phobias, bed wetting, eating disorders, sleep disturbances (insomnia), nail biting, hair pulling, headache, gambling addiction, alcohol addiction, back pain, stomach upset, premenstrual syndrome, etc., and even to feel better then well. SSRIs have become all purpose feel good pills, nowadays, Unfortunately many doctors are unaware of the major consequences and some of them dont even seem to care. They argue that the positive effects of SSRIs far outweigh their negative effects. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Almost 3.5 billion was made on effexor alone last year and other anti-depressants following closely.
Clinical studies of these drugs are alarming.
What can be done about these greed lobbying drug comapnies?
Sad for our nation.
The withdrawal is very important.
Bluebird Singing wrote yesterday:
A friend of ours went berserk going cold turkey off Effexor. You just cant do that with chemicals. Threatened to kill his wife (he had a concealed weapon permit and a gun) so she ran out of the house and called police from a neighbors house. He had a standoff with the police from the afternoon and thru the night, firing shots out the windows. He ended up killing himself. This was soooo out of character.
We had a family member commit suicide and were all just shocked until we found an empty bottle of effexor that she just stopped taking. After studying the effects of the withdrawals we had a better understanding of what happened.
If this killer had suddenly stopped taking his Prozac, his thoughts would be worse than when he was on them.
Have followed.. http://%firstname.lastname@example.org/babble/wdrawl/
and found a lot of answers there on how people feel on these withdrawals and it is very scary.