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Suicide Caution Mandated For Antidepressants

One of the advantages you receive by reading this newsletter is that you will typically find out the medical news before it becomes news. Last August I posted warnings on this issue and now the FDA has finally forced the drug companies to include this side effect on their label. The FDA issued a caution on pediatric use last year, but Monday's action--especially the addition of the warning to drug labels--goes significantly further. The drugs of concern are all newer-generation antidepressants: Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor, Celexa, Remeron, Lexapro, Luvox, Serzone and Wellbutrin. Most are known to affect the brain chemical serotonin.

A series of secret studies, which were conducted by drug companies and became public last year, seemed to show that depressed children and teenagers given antidepressants were more likely to become suicidal than those given placebos. The studies also showed that most antidepressants were not effective in treating depression in children and teenagers. Those studies are still under review at the agency.

Many people struggle with depression and if you think you might be one of them please review the depression diagnosis guidelines. Antidepressants fill an important niche. However, they in no way, shape or form treat the cause. Studies also show they don't work better than placebo. You can review my comment in the depression diagnosis article has some valuable insights on more effective natural options to treat depression. This Saturday's issue of the newsletter also has an article that addresses why antidepressants are causing suicides and homocides.

New York Times March 23, 2004

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