New research has found that with children suffering from moderate to severe depression, a large majority of the antidepressants available on the market are not effective. The findings even go so far as to say that the use of antidepressants (other than fluoxetine) may even be unsafe for the children and teens.
Dr. Andrea Cipriani,PhD of the University of Oxford notes that the only current evidence based treatment has been with fluxoetine. But she also stating that this doesn’t mean all medication regimens should be paused, if doctors are seeing positive changes in their patients. Dr. Cipriani has stressed the prescription of antidepressants to children and teens is
“not cookbook medicine. Everything has to be individualized to the specific patient.”
Dr. Cipriani led a team of researchers to conduct an analysis of the effect of medication on Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) in children and young adults. They gathered double-blind and random trials that used medication/treatment for MDD in order to gather direct & indirect evidence from the various trials.
There were both primary and secondary outcomes from the research. The primary outcome from the study was that they were able to determine the overall average overall change in patients’ symptoms as well as the number of patients that were forced to stop treatment because of adverse side effects. The secondary outcome of the research was that they were able to track response rate, discontinuation rate, and the occurrences of suicidal behavior.
The researchers found that fluoxetine was a more tolerable medication for the patients than the other antidepressants observed. (The other antidepressants tested were: duloxetine, imipramine, citalopram, venlafaxine, and paroxetine.) They were unable to determine the risk of suicide that correlated to each of the medications, but the researchers did find suggestions that venlafaxine significantly increased the risk of suicide in its young patients.
Additionally, fluoxetine was shown to be the most advantageous of all of the medications. One of its major benefits is its long half life, which makes an accidental missed dosage a non-issue. This is important, as drugs with shorter half-lives lead to immediate withdrawals in younger patients.
As childhood depression (children under 12) is becoming more prevalent, more independant studies are being run to determine the true effects of medication on young patients. As Dr. Jureidini mentioned,
“…adverse events are underreported, and some outcome measures are distorted.
One problem is that some of the clinical trials are carried out by pharmaceutical companies, which control the flow of information.”
To see the original article, please visit the Medscape