The use of some antidepressant drugs appears linked to an increase in suicidal behavior in some children and teen-agers, a U.S. advisory panel concluded on Tuesday.
The committee said evidence from two dozen clinical trials of nine of the newest antidepressants showed children treated with the drugs were more likely to report suicidal thoughts or actions. No suicides occurred during the trials.
The panel of outside medical experts was debating if the risk applied to all of the newest antidepressants under review, and which, if any, need stronger warnings. Most of the drugs in question are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs.
A U.S. Food and Drug Administration analysis concluded two or three out of every 100 young people treated with antidepressants might be at higher risk of suicidal behavior.
Millions of children are treated with various antidepressants, although only Eli Lilly and Co.‘s Prozac is approved for treating pediatric depression.
The drugs under review include GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s Paxil and WELLBUTRIN, Eli Lilly’s Prozac, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Serzone, Pfizer Inc.‘s Zoloft, Forest Laboratories Inc.‘s Celexa, Wyeth’s Effexor, Solvay’s Luvox and Akzo Nobel’s Remeron.
Revision date: June 18, 2011
Last revised: by Jorge P. Ribeiro, MD