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Should We Prescribe Antidepressants To Teenagers?

Aug 20, 2008
The antidepressants consumed by the teens and children can help them to relieve from their depression. Previous studies show that the antidepressants for teens can help them lower their anxiety disorders but can inculcate the risk of suicidal thoughts and attempts. It won't be significant to say that teens move ahead to suicidal attempts due to consumption of such antidepressants.

For this purpose, the FDA has issued mandated label warnings on pediatric antidepressant medicines to avoid risk of suicidal behavior and thoughts arising due to the usage of antidepressants amongst children and teens.

Important Considerations for usage of Antidepressants in Teens:
The factors that need to be considered by the parents before rendering antidepressants to their teens can include the risks of self injury, precautionary steps to avoid self injuries, keeping watch on teens consuming antidepressants along with benefits and risks of antidrepressants.

1.The risks of self injury
Children or teenagers undergoing depression are sometimes diverted to commit suicide. Consumption of antidrepressants can increase suicidal thoughts in teens making them suicidal.

A comparative study has shown that only few teens from a group of teens fed on antidepressants became suicidal. The risk percentage of suicide or self injury is very low and hence sometimes can be neglected.

2. Precautionary steps to avoid self injuries
People who are usually in touch with the teen consuming antidepressant need to continously monitor the sudden changes in teens behaviour and moods.

Once a new antidepressant medication treatment has started or is changed for particular teen then they need to be closely monitored. To prevent the self injury or suicide attempts by the teens they can be monitored once in four weeks or every two weeks for a month likewise.

3. Benefits and risks of the antidepressants
Antidepresssants can help reduce the depression among teens but can also sometimes have a suicidal effect. A healthy discussion needs to be done by doctors, patients and guardians inclusive of usage of antidepressants. Amongst various available antidepressants FDA has approved only the usage of Fluoxetine (Prozac) to treat medical depression.

The teens which are diverted to be suicidal cannot be regarded to do so because of antidepressants consumptions. Thus, whenever the antidepressants are given to teens the individual needs to be really cautious and intermittent doses of antidepressants needs to be monitored.

The individual can decide on antidepressant treatment method suitable for teens by gathering the related information along with their advantages and disadvantages. It is always better to consult a doctor before giving antidepressants to the teens.
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