ANCHOR LEAD: FDA REGULATIONS REGARDING ANTIDEPRESSANT USE IN KIDS MAY HAVE FUELED THE INCREASE IN TEEN SUICIDES, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Warnings regarding the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, a very effective class of antidepressant medications, in kids may be the cause of the uptick in teen suicides reported recently. The FDA has a number of constraints in place that may discourage both patients and parents, says Mark Riddle, chair of child psychiatry at Johns Hopkins.
RIDDLE: The FDA required that clinicians give a handout produced by the FDA to parents and discuss that handout with them. And in that handout are clear recommendations that the child be seen every week for so many weeks, then every other week, and although I’m a big, big believer in monitoring, this is not something that is always feasible. :27
In addition to the handout, the FDA also issued a ‘black box’ warning regarding these medications, cautioning doctors about serious potential side effects, including suicide and suicidal thoughts. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.