Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Antidepressants linked to childhood suicide

Antidepressants linked to childhood suicide
Tuesday, 07 Mar 2006 05:09

Antidepressant use raises the likelihood of suicidal thoughts in children, according to a new article.

Scientists from the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today published a detailed account of the conclusions they reached on use of antidepressants in children in 2004.

The article, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry journal, is the first detailed public discussion of the findings. The FDA is the body that regulates medicines in the United States.

Director of the agency's division of psychiatry products, Thomas Laughren, analysed the data of 24 clinical trials involving antidepressants and children.

He concluded that antidepressants are linked to a "modest" increase in the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviour in children.

The 24 studies included 4,582 paediatric patients taking one of nine antidepressant medications for depression, anxiety or other psychiatric disorder.

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