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Psychopharmacol Bull. 1997;33(1):149-54.

Venlafaxine in the treatment of children and adolescents with major depression.

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University of Florida Health Science Center, Jacksonville, USA.


Major depression is commonly found in the child and adolescent population. Venlafaxine, a new antidepressant, has been used successfully in adults; however, its use in children and adolescents has been very limited. This study evaluated the efficacy and side effect profile of venlafaxine in the treatment of depression in children and adolescents. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, 6-week study, 33 subjects between the ages of 8 and 17, who met DSM-IV criteria for major depression, were treated with either venlafaxine and therapy or placebo and therapy. Patient progress data were obtained by weekly rating assessments. Data on side effects were also obtained weekly. The statistical analysis indicated a significant improvement over time, but it could not be attributed to venlafaxine drug therapy. These findings are consistent with other studies where the efficacy of antidepressants in the treatment of major depression in this age population remains unproven. Low dosage and short length of treatment may account for the lack of efficacy. The findings did, however, suggest a low side-effect profile. Further studies are recommended to assess efficacy and to corroborate its safety in children and adolescents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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