Antidepressants to kids

| January 16, 2020

Title: Antidepressants to kids

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Recent studies indicate that teens and children who use antidepressants face a slightly higher risk of exhibiting suicidal behaviors. For this reason, the Federal Food and Drug Administration have recommended that all packages of antidepressants carry warnings about this danger. Little is known about the effects that antidepressants have on children because clinical drug studies do not target youngsters. However, it is legal to give prescription on drugs that have only been tested on adults to children, a practice known as off-label usage.

Today, writes Pomerantz (2004), the debate is ongoing among doctors on whether potential risks posed by antidepressants on children and teens outweigh their benefits. As debate continues, the fact remains that use of antidepressants among teens and children has been increasing in recent years, along with diagnoses of depression and many other mental disorders in that same age group. It is estimated that between 3 and 8 percent of all teens in the U.S suffer from depression and 500,000 among them attempt suicide every year.

Shelly (2004) says that antidepressants are useful for treating not only depression, but also panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, premenstrual syndrome and general anxiety. Some parents, mostly those who are anxious about the need for their children to get better quickly, rush for antidepressants. Some parents may even push doctors for these drugs while they are trying to look for a quick fix. Unfortunately, the antidepressants end up exposing the child to suicide risk.

The dilemma concerning the long-term effects of continued use of antidepressants among teens and children remains unknown. On the other hand, little is known about the negatives effects that recurring depression has on growing brains. Use of antidepressants among children, in most cases, does not solve the problem permanently. In order to reduce the recurrence of depression, treatments through antidepressants should be supplemented with cognitive therapy.


Pomerantz, J. 2004. Controversy over Suicide Risk in Children and Adolescents Taking Antidepressants: Lessons Learned, December 21, 2004. Retrieved on April 3, 2010.

Shelly, S.2004. The Antidepressant Debate, October5, 2004.,3212361. Retrieved on April 3, 2010.

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