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J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2004 Fall;14(3):412-7.

Safety of subchronic treatment with fluoxetine for major depressive disorder in children and adolescents.

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Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, IN 46285, USA.



The aim of this study was to assess the safety of subchronic fluoxetine treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD) in children and adolescents.


Patients received up to 19 weeks of treatment with fluoxetine, 10 mg-60 mg daily. Safety was evaluated through the reporting of concomitant medications, vital signs, routine laboratory testing, electrocardiograms (ECGs), and adverse event data.


Ninety-six patients, aged 9-17 years, completed 19 weeks of treatment with fluoxetine (n = 49) or placebo (n = 47). There were statistically significant differences between the fluoxetine and placebo groups in mean change from baseline for alkaline phosphatase and total cholesterol levels (p < 0.001, and p < 0.014, respectively), but there were no statistically significant differences between the incidence of abnormal laboratory values for these 2 analytes. Fluoxetine-treated patients gained statistically significantly less height (fluoxetine: 1.0 cm +/- 2.4; placebo: 2.1 cm +/- 2.6; p = 0.004) and weight (fluoxetine: 1.2 kg +/- 2.7; placebo: 2.3 kg +/- 2.6; p = 0.008) than placebo-treated patients during the 19 weeks of treatment. There was no difference in the rate of reported suicide-related events between fluoxetine and placebo.


Fluoxetine was found to be safe and well tolerated in this study of children and adolescents with MDD. Clarification and determination of the clinical significance of the growth-rate reduction seen during fluoxetine treatment requires further investigation. During treatment with fluoxetine, the growth of child and adolescent patients should be monitored.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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