Psychiatry

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Aggression & Suicidal Ideation: Are Newer Antidepressants Safe?

KEY POINT

Millions of patients have used selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and other newer antidepressants for treatment of depression, and the medications have been viewed as offering a far better adverse reaction profile than tricyclic antidepressants and other therapeutic options. Yet now, a growing chorus of critics—including FDA—is casting doubt on the evidence supporting safety of SSRIs, particularly in the critical phase when therapy is first started in children, adolescents, and adults.

SOURCES

Food and Drug Administration. Antidepressant use in children, adolescents, and adults. Accessed April 2, 2004.

Jureidini JN et al. Efficacy and safety of antidepressants for children and adolescents. BMJ. 2004;328:879–83.

American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. Preliminary report of the task force on SSRIs and suicidal behavior in youth [executive summary]. 2004(Jan 21).