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Antidepressant Safety for Children and Teens

Antidepressant Safety for Children and TeensNumerous studies have shown that suicidal thoughts and behaviors may accompany use of antidepressants by children and adolescents. However, variations in risk among individual medications are unknown.

A new study compared various selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant medications and found no significant differences among them in the risk of suicide attempts or suicides.

The article, “Comparative Safety of Antidepressant Agents for Children and Adolescents Regarding Suicidal Acts,” will be published in the May issue of Pediatrics.

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors were not investigated because of the small number of exposed subjects.

A total of 20,906 children between the ages of 10 to 18 years of age with a diagnosis of depression were observed over a 9-year period.

During the first year of use, study authors identified 266 attempted and 3 completed suicides, but no meaningful differences between SSRI antidepressant agents.

This analysis supports the decision of the Food and Drug Administration to include all antidepressants in the black box warning regarding increased suicide risk for children and adolescents after initiation of antidepressant medication use.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

Antidepressant Safety for Children and Teens

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Antidepressant Safety for Children and Teens. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 26, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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