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Antidepressants don't work for teens, kids: study - June 11th 2016, 01:11 PM

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Paris (AFP) - Most available antidepressants are ineffective for children and teenagers with major depression, and some may be unsafe, according to an overview of medical literature published Thursday.
Only one drug, fluoxetine, was found to work better at relieving the symptoms of depression than a look-alike placebo with no active ingredients, said the study, published in The Lancet.
Another drug, venlafaxine, was linked with an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and attempts compared with placebo and five other antidepressants, it reported.
More broadly, there is a paucity of well-designed clinical trials on the impact of these drugs on youngsters, the authors cautioned.
"The balance of risks and benefits of antidepressants for the treatment of major depression does not seem to offer a clear advantage in children and teenagers," said co-author Peng Xie from The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University in China.
The international team of researchers recommended that youths taking such medications be monitored closely regardless of the antidepressant chosen, particularly at the beginning of treatment.
They also called for more transparency and information sharing, lamenting in particular the lack of data at the individual level.
"We can’t be completely confident about the accuracy of the information contained in published and unpublished trials," lead author Andrea Cipriani at the University of Oxford said in a statement.
"Delay in implementing responsible data sharing policies has negative consequences for medical research and patient outcomes."
Major depressive disorder affects about 3 percent of children aged 6 to 12 years, and about 6 percent of teenagers aged 13 to 18 years.
Many clinical guidelines recommend psychological treatments as the first-line treatment for depression.
But in the United States, for example, the use of antidepressants has slowly increased between 2005 and 2012.
The proportion of US children and teenagers taking antidepressants climbed from 1.3 to 1.6 percent, and in Britain from 0.7 percent to 1.1 percent, the study showed.
Sertraline is the most widely prescribed antidepressant in the USA, and fluoxetine is the most common in Britain.
The study covered 34 clinical trials involving 5,260 participants, aged 9 to 18.
Two-thirds of the trials were funded by pharmaceutical companies.
In a comment, also in The Lancet, Jon Jureidini from the University of Adelaide in Australia questioned whether the lack of data about individual patients obscured the true number of suicidal events.
"Claims that appropriate access to such data is incompatible with intellectual property constraints and patient privacy must be strongly resisted."
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Re: Antidepressants don't work for teens, kids: study - June 11th 2016, 04:17 PM

Considering this is from Yahoo and they didn't bother posting any sources, I'd say "big pharma" conspiracy theorists are at work with this article. Which conspiracy theorists and pseudoscience believers tend to take residence on Yahoo anyway. Yahoo doesn't produce many factual articles these days or ever, really.

Regardless, antidepressants are still in the works of. In my opinion, the reason they say antidepressants don't work for teens are because there are so few approved for teens and children. Most of the ones that help adults are not approved for anyone under 18. There's only 5 or 6 approved for children. Compared to possibly 30+ for adults. I was too lazy to count, honestly.

The antidepressants (SSRIs) that are tried first to treat a person's depression have only been in development for not even 30 years, so they do have a ways to go in perfecting the medications to work more and for longer. Older antidepressants work much better, but are usually only used in severe depression and when the newer ones don't work (which they don't always, they are newer and therefore have less research backing them).

Still, these medications can make a huge difference in a persons life. It's just the fact that there are not many approved for teens so when a teen is depressed they tend not to find a medication that works until they are 18 when they can try a larger variety of medications. And one medication that did or did not work for a teenager may have different effects on them as an adult due the the development of the brain. So, yes, some antidepressants may be less effective on teens than others because of the immaturity of the brain because doctors are trying to treat teen depression with medications developed for adults. It could still take many years to develop an antidepressant specifically for teen brains.

Also just saying that the majority of teens expect a medication to be a cure all and take all their problems away, when you have to use other tools along with the antidepressant (also a tool) to feel better.

All in all, I would take this article with a grain of salt unless they magically produce legitimate scientific studies.

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Last edited by obelus; June 11th 2016 at 04:37 PM.
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Re: Antidepressants don't work for teens, kids: study - June 11th 2016, 04:41 PM

While his source is from Yahoo, this comes from a larger study called a meta-analysis which, simply put, looks at multiple scientific studies and makes conclusions. Here's a better summary. Of the 14 antidepressants studied, only one was found to be effective in comparison to a placebo (sugar pills). This isn't news though; it's been known that most antidepressants aren't as effective in teens. Some studies have even said they're dangerous.

I believe in antidepressants, I know they've saved many of my friends lives. But this does say that we need more research on their efficacy in young folks, particularly for how frequently they're prescribed. If we find that it's a curve and that effectiveness goes up in age, by overprescribing as teens, we may be doing more damage by making people think that they're unhelpful and not turning to treatment later in life. There's just a lot more research to be done.

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Re: Antidepressants don't work for teens, kids: study - June 12th 2016, 06:34 AM

I was prescribed antidepressants when I was a teenager and it helped me a lot.

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Re: Antidepressants don't work for teens, kids: study - June 12th 2016, 11:28 PM

And yet no one actually linked to the article everyone is talking about. I do not have access to The Lancet's full journal service so I am unsure of the editorials the second link talks about.

Here is the journal article summary:
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