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Ann Med. 2005;37(6):404-12.

The risks and benefits of antidepressant treatment for youth depression.

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Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-2592, USA.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has mandated that all antidepressants carry a 'black box' warning label indicating that antidepressants increase the risk of suicidality in youth taking these medications. In the U.K., the Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has determined that the balance of risks and benefits favors only the use of fluoxetine in the treatment of depressive illness in children and adolescents. This article reviews the FDA's analysis linking antidepressant medication use and pediatric suicidality in major depressive disorder, discusses the efficacy of antidepressants in treating depression in children and adolescents, and offers suggestions to aid clinicians, patients, and families in making clinical decisions based on an accurate assessment of the benefits and risks of medication and psychosocial treatments for pediatric depression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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