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Antidepressants and Suicide in Children: Why Did the Warnings Take so Long?

I recently posted the finding that several leading antidepressants increase the risk of suicidal behaviors among children. Despite this potential risk, physicians are repeatedly told that depression is underrecognized in patients, that lack of treatment can lead to serious harm, and antidepressants have been regarded as the treatment of choice. It is understandable, then, that the public was dismayed by a recent warning that antidepressants are largely ineffective in the treatment of major depression in children and adolescents and can cause suicidal behavior and self-harm. This warning is disturbing in itself, but it also leads to the question, why did it take so long to discover this lack of benefit and potential for harm? These two commentaries from the Canadian Medical Association Journal are well worth reading for anyone, and are essential for anyone considering antidepressants.

Canadian Medical Association Journal (Full-Text Article) February 17, 2004; 170(4):487

Canadian Medical Association Journal (Full-Text Article) February 17, 2004; 170(4):489

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