(Mirror Daily, United States) – The latest study has shown that antidepressants might be linked to a harmful effect on children and teenagers. According to Dr. Andrea Cipriani, study author and associate professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Oxford, doctors recommend psychotherapy as the first method of treatment, consisting of interpersonal therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy.
This is what children and teenagers with significant depressive disorders need. Statistics have shown that around 6 percent of teenagers between 13 to 18 years old, and 3 percent of children between 6 to 12 years old are affected every year by major depression. Furthermore, venlafaxine known as Effexor was associated with an increased risk of suicidal attempts and thoughts compared to five other antidepressants and placebo.
In addition to this, the researchers chose only fluoxetine, known as Prozac, out of 14 other antidepressants as more efficient in tackling depression than an inactive placebo in teenagers and children.
Back in 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration understood how dangerous were antidepressants in children and adolescents. Therefore, the agency decided to develop a program called ‘black box warning’ in order to make people understand that they need to reduce the use of these drugs on their children, because of the increased risk of suicide attempts and suicidal thoughts.
Cipriani believes that the use of antidepressants should be carefully monitored by parents, particularly in the beginning of medication. There are still very few studies regarding the use of antidepressants in teenagers and children, therefore, the entire range of risks is still unknown to the public.
Plus, even if Prozac was established as a practical approach to children and teenagers, Cipriani stated that it should be used only in the case of young patients that do not have access to psychotherapy or showed no response to non-pharmacological interventions.
According to Dr. Peter Kramer, clinical professor emeritus of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University, these types of drugs are not that dangerous for adults. However, when they are used on young patients, the story is different because these antidepressants proved to be not just riskier but also less efficient.
Worse, FDA warning had no success as the use of antidepressants increased among young patients starting from 2005 until 2012. Around 2 percent of the entire population of children and teenagers take these drugs because they suffer from the depressive disorder.