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Majority Of Antidepressants Don't Work On Kids, Teens With Depression: Study

Update Date: Jun 10, 2016 06:00 AM EDT

Some antidepressants may not work on kids and teens with depression. A new study has found that these ineffective meds may be unsafe for them as well.

Fluoxetine Antidepressant Found to Be Effective

In the research published online in Lancet, researchers looked at the effects of 14 commonly prescribed antidepressants for children and teens. They found that only 1 antidepressant, fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), was found to be working on the subjects with depression.

The authors note that in their study of the antidepressants versus placebo pills, fluoxetine helped ease the symptoms of depression in kids and teens. However, their findings need more investigation as fluoxetine's effectiveness and adverse health reactions in children and teens have not been widely studied, CBS News reported.


New Findings Not Applicable to Everyone

Lead author Dr. Andrea Cipriana of the University of Oxford told Medscape that the new findings may only apply to kids and teens with depression that have not responded to psychotherapy and other interventions. She also explained that the study does not apply to everyone. A patient who may be responding to an antidepressant that is not fluoxetine should not be taken off the meds.

Furthermore, putting kids and teens on antidepressants may cause serious harm. Depression affects around 3 percent of children ages 6 to 12 and more than 5 percent in teens aged 13 to 18. The authors say that these age groups must be carefully monitored whether they are taking fluoxetine or other antidepressants.

"The true effectiveness and risk of serious harms such as suicidal thoughts remain unclear because of the small number of trials ... and the selective reporting of findings in published trials and clinical study reports," Dr Cipriani said, as noted by ABC News.

Do you think kids and teens should be given antidepressants only to curb their depression? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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