Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Are Antidepressants Safe and Effective in Children?

20.12.2005


Neuroscientist Takes Issue with Antidepressants for Children



The question of whether SSRI antidepressants, such as fluoxetine (Prozac), are safe and more effective than dummy pills for treating child and adolescent depression (CAD) remains highly contentious, says Dr Amir Raz, Assistant Professor of Clinical Neuroscience in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Columbia University and Research Scientist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, in New York City.

Writing in the open access journal PLoS Medicine, Dr Raz says that when it comes to treating CAD, “there are few compelling data sets, free of funding from drug companies, concerning the efficacy of antidepressant medications over and above their placebo value.”


In his analysis, Dr Raz looks at some of the reasons behind the current dispute over the value of SSRI antidepressants for treating depressed children and adolescents.

“The recent history of SSRIs is replete with inconsistent verdicts about their safety,” he says. For example, despite issuing a “black box” warning label on antidepressants stating that they may increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in depressed children and adolescents, the FDA went on to endorse the safety of these drugs for treating CAD.

In addressing possible implications of SSRI use for CAD, Dr Raz points to data in mouse studies suggesting that exposure to SSRIs early in life produces abnormal emotional behaviors in adults. “Some exploratory findings suggest that artificial perturbation of serotonin function in early life may alter the normal development of brain systems related to stress, motor development, and motor control.”

Another factor, says Dr Raz, that further confounds the debate over SSRIs for CAD is that while some studies have shown statistically significant effects, these effects may not be meaningful in the real world of clinical practice. Dr Irving Kirsch and Dr David Antonuccio, who gave testimony to the FDA in 2004 on the efficacy of SSRIs for CAD, also concluded that the effect of these drugs may be statistically significant, but possibly not clinically significant.

Dr Raz says that while some mental health experts “dismiss investigators such as Kirsch and Antonuccio as ‘outliers’ or inherently biased against the drug industry, such ‘outlying’ accounts should nevertheless be examined.”

Given all of the limitations surrounding the data on SSRIs, Dr Raz urges patients and physicians to “demand stronger evidence for the efficacy of antidepressants for CAD.”

Paul Ocampo | alfa
Further information:
http://www.plos.org
http://www.plosmedicine.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto University

nachricht ASU scientists develop new, rapid pipeline for antimicrobials
14.12.2017 | Arizona State University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests

14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective

14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>