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Report: Antidepressants may be linked to suicidal feelings

A report from station KAIT out of Arkansas explores the question of whether antidepressants cause suicidal thoughts in children.

According to the report, the assertion that there’s a link between antidepressant use and suicidal thoughts in children is controversial. But it said some studies have suggested such a link exists.

A number of studies have indicated that antidepressants categorized as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, widely hailed as wonder drugs in the 1990s, come with a range of health risks.

For example, a study by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2006 showed that babies born to mothers who took SSRIs during the second half of pregnancy had a significantly increased risk of being born with persistent pulmonary hypertension, a potentially life-threatening respiratory disorder.

Other studies have linked SSRIs such as Prozac and Zoloft with a number of birth defects including brain, lung and bone malformations.

According to the KAIT report, a study of clinical trials conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found that children taking antidepressants had a four percent chance of developing suicidal thoughts, as compared to a two percent chance among those who only received a placebo.

The report quotes Dr. David Lelio, Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Carolinas Medical Center-Randolph, as saying: “What you will usually see is the mood changes, the irritability, and then, something extreme.”

Patients should consult their doctors before making any changes in their medication. A consultation with an SSRI lawyer is also important if there are significant injuries.

See the report here: