Helping Children

Some Topics

Avoid Antidepressants for Children

Antidepressants are chemicals that are added to a dysfunctional chemical mix that caused dysfunction and dysphoria in the first place. Few parents make any effort to alter their disease-causing lifestyle and few physicians make any effort to investigate and improve a child's chemistry overall. Psychotropic drugs are added, mindlessly to the dysfunctional chemical mix and their effects merge with the chemistry of food, food additives and contaminants, food allergy and airborne neurotoxins that act on the brain.

In the 1990’s antidepressants were prescribed to children and adolescents without evidence of efficacy and safety. The US FDA issued a warning in 2003 regarding SSRIs, paroxetine (Paxil) and venlafaxine (Serotax), antidepressants similar to Prozac. The results of 3 trials involving children with depression did not show any benefit to taking paroxetine over placebo. In addition, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts and episodes of self-harm were more frequent among the paroxetine users than among those in the placebo group.

In another study involving children with social anxiety disorder, 2.4% of the 165 children given paroxetine had suicide-related adverse events as compared with none of 157 children given a placebo. Vanlafaxine was also ineffective and doubled the rate of suicide.

In October 2004, the US Food and Drug Administration announced that it will require drug manufacturers to issue strong 'black box' warnings on all antidepressant medication that indicate that the drugs may cause children and teenagers to exhibit suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

In the USA, Harris stated: “As states begin to require that drug companies disclose their payments to doctors for lectures and other services, a pattern has emerged: psychiatrists earn more money from drug makers than doctors in any other specialty. How this money may be influencing psychiatrists and other doctors has become one of the most contentious issues in health care. For instance, the more psychiatrists have earned from drug makers, the more they have prescribed a new class of powerful medicines known as atypical antipsychotics to children, for whom the drugs are especially risky and mostly unapproved. Drug makers generally spend twice as much to market drugs as they do to research them. ” (New York Times June 2007)

In response to the paroxetine warnings, Garland, a child psychiatrist stated: “These developments not only raise concerns about the presumed effectiveness and safety of SSRIs for young people, but also pose disturbing questions about publication bias and questionable interpretation of research data on the treatment of childhood depression. Garland points to the bias in drug trial reporting that deceives patients and physicians in all areas of medicine. If you add the overwhelming bias in favor of prescribing drugs to the exaggeration of benefits of some drugs over others to the suppression of negative information about drugs, then the use of drugs in medicine is not based on science, reliable evidence and rational thinking, but rather is an exercise in marketing and profiteering.

An associated press report stated that: “GlaxoSmithKline PLC, which is being sued for allegedly concealing negative information on the effects of its Paxil anti-depressant on children, admitted this week that the drug didn't show a benefit over a sugar pill when treating depression in children… New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer filed a consumer-fraud lawsuit last Wednesday accusing Glaxo of repeated and persistent fraud for concealing details on how well the drug works and its side effects… the FDA (US) admonished Glaxo for running a TV ad for Paxil CR, the controlled release version of Paxil, that was false or misleading because it suggests the drug can be used by a broader range of patients than it is actually approved for.”