Wishful thinking: antidepressant drugs in childhood depression

This paper from Anne Tonkin and Jon Jureidini has been published in the British Journal of Psychiatry. It begins:

“The use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in children under 18 years old increased ten-fold (from 0.5 to 4.6 per 1000) in the UK from 1992 to 2001 (Reference Murray, de Vries and WongMurray et al, 2004). Usage rates are even higher in the USA, at 16.6 per 1000 (Reference Delate, Gelenberg and SimmonsDelate et al, 2004), despite the existence of training and theoretical models for the treatment of mental disorders that are similar to those in the UK. Reasons for the increasing rates of use are likely to include heavy promotion of both medication and illness, distortion of the published data related to safety and efficacy, and underestimation by clinicians of the importance of the placebo response (Reference Jureidini, Doecke and MansfieldJureidini et al, 2004a ). Over the past 2 years, serious concerns have been raised about the benefit-to-harm ratio of all antidepressants for children, leading to limits on the use of some drugs and warning statements on drug labelling. Nevertheless, a view persists that scepticism about these drugs is misplaced. Unfortunately this view, which owes more to wishful thinking than science, has permeated guidelines produced by professional and regulatory authorities, particularly in the USA. On what basis are these recommendations being made? …”

You can read more from here.

Rate this post

Any reply would be very welcome


Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox:

Your email address will not be passed to any other organisation. It will only be used to send you new posts made on this website.