Article

Antidepressants And Children A Bad Combination

The April 10th publication of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) includes a clinical review that reveals antidepressants must not be prescribed like a treatment for depression in individuals under 18 years of age. In line with the BMJ, Australian researchers analyzed existing results from six randomized controlled trials of newer antidepressants and their use in children. The review team uncovered what they called "disturbing shortcomings", documented in the study results published on selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as Effexor, Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft.

Due to the research, the study stated "Antidepressant drugs cannot confidently be recommended as a treatment option for childhood depression." The BMJ report itself stated, "Two small studies found no statistically big benefit for antidepressants over placebo on some of the outcome measures reported. Of the remaining four papers, two did and two failed to show statistically significant advantages of antidepressants over placebo on primary outcome measures."

Together with not seeing any benefits, the report also noted there might be a conflict of interest as the pharmaceutical companies paid for the trials and otherwise remunerated the authors of at least three of the four larger studies.

The BMJ study concluded: "We are worried that biased reporting and overconfident recommendations in treatment guidelines may mislead doctors, patients, and families. Many will undervalue non-drug treatments that are probably both safer and more effective

Back to Articles List

image description

QUICKFACTS