Health

Study: Most Antidepressant Drugs Ineffective For Kids

| by Michael Allen
Children GunChildren Gun

Most antidepressants are ineffective and unsafe for children and teens, according to a new study published in The Lancet.

The study of 14 antidepressants found most of the medications don't work for children and teens who have a major depressive disorder, notes CBS News.

Out of those 14, the study found Fluoxetine, also known as Prozac and Sarafem, was the only one more effective than a placebo when it came to relieving depression symptoms in young patients.

The study reviewed all published and unpublished randomized clinical trials, and found 65 percent of the original clinical trials were paid for by drug companies.

Most of the pharmaceutical companies' trials were at a high risk for bias, and there was a low level for quality evidence, according to the study.

In 2010, Forest Pharmaceuticals pleaded guilty to charges regarding the illegal promotion of Celexa for use in treating children and adolescents suffering from depression, the U.S. Department of Justice reports. The company agreed to pay more than $313 million to the DOJ.

In 2012 settlement with the DOJ, GlaxoSmithKline agreed to pay $3 billion in fines for marketing drugs for unapproved uses and for not reporting safety information to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to TIME.

GlaxoSmithKline illegally marketed the antidepressant Paxil, which was approved only for those 18 years and older, to children and teens, even though the drug was not anymore effective than a placebo for treating depression in young people. The drug company reportedly offered kickbacks to physicians and sales reps to promote Paxil in that manner.

Dr. Victor Fornari, director of the division of child and adolescent psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, New York, told CBS News: "Depression in youth is a serious public health problem associated with the leading cause of death in this age group, suicide. Understanding what the evidence demonstrates is critical to guide treatment for this vulnerable population."

The antidepressant market in America is a multi-billion dollar industry.

Sources: CBS News, U.S. Department Of Justice, TIME / Photo Credit: Lance Cpl. Owen Kimbrel/Defense Video Imagery Distribution System

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