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 New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes
14.08.2017 | University of British Columbia

nachricht New type of blood cells work as indicators of autoimmunity
14.08.2017 | Instituto de Medicina Molecular

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: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

Im Focus: Scientists improve forecast of increasing hazard on Ecuadorian volcano

Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and the Instituto Geofisico--Escuela Politecnica Nacional (IGEPN) of Ecuador, showed an increasing volcanic danger on Cotopaxi in Ecuador using a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR).

The Andes region in which Cotopaxi volcano is located is known to contain some of the world's most serious volcanic hazard. A mid- to large-size eruption has...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New thruster design increases efficiency for future spaceflight

16.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Transporting spin: A graphene and boron nitride heterostructure creates large spin signals

16.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

A new method for the 3-D printing of living tissues

16.08.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>