[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 13-Sep-2006
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Contact: Judy Erickson
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Short duration of depressive symptoms in teens may affect evaluation of drug treatment responses

There has been much controversy in recent years regarding the correlation between teenage suicide and the use of antidepressant drugs. At an FDA meeting reviewing this topic, the majority of clinical trials examined did not show that the drugs were effective in treating depression in children and adolescents.

In a recent study published in the September issue of the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, Dr. Richard Malone, from the Department of Psychiatry at Drexel University College of Medicine and Philadelphia Health & Education Corporation, and colleagues suggest that the short duration of depressive symptoms in this age group makes it difficult to distinguish drug efficacy from placebo.

Using a naturalistic study design, the researchers advise using multiple assessments to establish a continuous baseline before randomizing patients to treatment, which would remove those who spontaneously recover in a very short period of time. In addition to having an impact on the accuracy of future clinical trials, this approach may help decrease the number of children who are exposed to unnecessary long-term drug therapy and possible side effects, since those who spontaneously recover quickly would not be started on drug therapy.

The article "Impersistence of Depression in Youth: Implications for Drug Study Design" can be accessed at no-charge for a limited time at The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology's web site at www.jclinpharm.org/cgi/reprint/46/9/1044.

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For over 45 years, clinical pharmacologists, clinical and pharmaceutical researchers, drug development specialists, physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals have relied on The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology for original research, special reviews, commentaries, and case reports on all phases of drug development. One of the most highly cited journals in the field, it features up to-the-minute and pertinent clinical information about the safety, tolerability, efficacy, therapeutic applications, toxicology, and total evaluation of new and established drugs for humans. JCP is the official journal for the American College of Clinical Pharmacology. www.jclinpharm.org

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

 

 

Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world.
-- Helen Keller
 
 
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