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Antidepressant warning: Adult drugs may lead to increased risk of suicide in children

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Old February 13th 04, 11:24 AM
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Default Antidepressant warning: Adult drugs may lead to increased risk of suicide in children

Do you have some kind of agenda? I think the majority of people who NEED
antidepressents do their research and work out what is best for themselves.
Why do you feel the need to post all these posts on antidepressants?
Sue (mom to three girls)
I'm Just a Raggedy Ann in a Barbie Doll World...

wrote in message
Antidepressant warning: Adult drugs may lead to increased risk of suicide



Associated Press

Parents need warnings that popular adult antidepressants may sometimes

suicide when taken by children and teenagers, government advisers said

after hearing emotional testimony from families who lost loved ones.

It isn't clear yet that the drugs lead to suicide, but until that is

parents and doctors need to know they may cause agitation, anxiety and

in a subset of young patients who may be unusually prone to rare side

advisers to the Food and Drug Administration concluded.

"We want to put a speed bump in the road," said panel chair Dr. Matthew

of the National Institute of Mental Health. "The warnings as they exist in

current labeling are not adequate or are not being taken seriously."

British health authorities sounded the alarm last year, saying

research suggests certain antidepressants might sometimes increase the

risk of
suicidal behavior in children and teenagers. Because only one drug,

Prozac, has
been proven to alleviate pediatric depression, Britain declared others -

called SSRIs and their close relatives - unsuitable for depressed youth.

Now, the FDA is wrestling with whether the suicide risk is real, and if

so, what
to do. It's difficult, because depression itself can cause suicide.

Among 25 studies of the suspect medications involving 4,000 children and

there were no completed suicides. But 109 patients experienced one or more
possibly suicide-related behaviors or attempts, FDA medical reviewer Dr.

Laughren revealed Monday.

The problem, he said, is that studies varied dramatically in what was

suicidal behavior. Among 19 patients classified as cutting themselves, for
instance, almost all were superficial, with little bleeding. So FDA has

Columbia University to help determine exactly how much true suicidal

occurred, before it proposes next steps at a second public hearing in late

Meanwhile, FDA has warned doctors to use great caution in prescribing any
antidepressant other than Prozac to people under 18.

That's not enough, said anguished parents who want warnings of the

suicide risk on the drugs' labels.

"You have an obligation today . from preventing this tragic story from

repeated over and over again," said Mark Miller of Kansas City, Mo., whose
13-year-old son Matt hanged himself in his bedroom closet after taking his
seventh Zoloft pill.

Parents described youths becoming extremely agitated or anxious shortly

starting the pills - symptoms known medically as akathisia - and seemingly
sudden impulses that turned deadly.

FDA's scientific advisers warned that the youths most likely to commit

weren't allowed into the SSRI studies, so existing data likely won't

settle the

But the panel urged FDA to heed parents' reports about akathisia - and to

some sort of education campaign about those symptoms, so young patients

can be
better monitored.

A few parents, despite boos from the crowd, credited the drugs with saving


"I ask that you appreciate the enormous benefit these medicines have had,"

Sherri Walton of Arizona, whose 14-year-old daughter Jordan has used SSRIs

in a
years-long battle with obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. "Her
medicines were sometimes the only things she could depend on to help her."

"I shudder to think of their plight if these medicines were not

added Suzanne Vogel-Scibilia of the patient group National Alliance for

Mentally Ill, who say the drugs dramatically improved depression in two of

teen sons, including one who had attempted suicide.

FDA officials fear warnings before the issue is settled could dissuade

from potentially helpful treatment. "To err in either direction has

consequences," Laughren said.

Depression occurs in up to 10 percent of youth, and 1,883 10- to

killed themselves in 2001. Some 1.8 million teenagers attempted suicide

year, a quarter of them requiring medical attention, said Dr. David

Schaffer of
Columbia University.

In 2002, almost 11 million prescriptions were dispensed to patients under

18 for
SSRIs and other newer antidepressants, to treat depression and a host of

conditions, FDA said.

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may

not be
published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Old February 13th 04, 07:49 PM
external usenet poster
Posts: n/a
Default Antidepressant warning: Adult drugs may lead to increased risk of suicide in children

You are so right Sue.
I think some people do not realize what kind of struggle you have to go
through in making such a decision. Everybody knows it is not an ideal
situation to have to take medications while pregnant but you have to
carefully analyze your situation and come to a solution with your doctors. I
have the impression that some people think that the assumption of
antidepressant is trivialized to popping mint sweets into your mouth. It is
not the case.
First of all it is a very personal thing. It depends on the gravity of your
simptoms and on your history.
Plus, and most important, a healthy mother is one of the most important
things for your baby. And that is the goal that everybody has in mind.
I seriously think that these posts are not so much about information but
more to make a statement regarding somebody's belief and opinion.


EDD March 26, '04. It's a girl!


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