Common Depression Drugs for Adolescents Are Ineffective
It is not uncommon for well-intentioned and loving parents to turn to prescription medications in an attempt to relieve their child's depression. However, what if said parents were to find out that these medications were not only ineffective but actually made depressive symptoms worse? Would these parents be willing to roll the dice with their child's mental health? One would certainly hope not.
13 out of 14 of The Nation's most Popularly Prescribed Antidepressants Tested Failed to Relieve Depressive Symptoms In Children... In Fact, They Made Depressive Symptoms Worse
Oxford University conducted a study in 2016 which should have resulted in a devastating blow to the pharmaceutical industry and physicians alike but ultimately fell by the wayside of the publics' attention. Even three years later, it remains virtually forgotten or ignored.
Oxford University's study included 34 clinical trials that involved over 5,000 depressed adolescents between ages nine and eighteen. The trial required each child to take one of the fourteen most popular depression medications being prescribed to children of their age group for a total of eight weeks.
The results were stunning: Almost all of the depressants (thirteen out of the fourteen) failed to relieve the depressive symptoms of the children.
The only drug that provided any relief was none other than Prozac - a highly controversial drug that has also been linked to severe disorders such as homicidal akathisia. Not exactly a hole in one for big Pharma's seemingly indestructible reputation, one would wrongfully presume.
Exponentially more disturbing were the uncovered findings that uncovered antidepressant Effexor, a popular antidepressant often prescribed to children as young as 12, was not only ineffective but actually caused additional severe depressive symptoms and even suicidal ideation in a substantial portion of the children who used it during the controlled study.
"it is simply unjustifiable to prescribe children with anti-depressants."
It should be noted that the researchers had no idea how dangerous the antidepressants would turn out to be and were reportedly as shocked as the millions of people who would eventually read their clinical findings via most major media outlets, as well as the untold number of others at home who would soon be watching the breaking story unfold on one of the few nationwide news channels.
After the report's publication, renowned Australian child psychologist, Dr. Jon Jureidini, stated that "doctors who over-prescribe depression drugs are sending off disturbing implications for clinical practice."
The doctor also warned, "powerful anti-depressants should only be given to patients if the discounted benefit outweighs the boosted harm. Almost never will a child's discounted benefit outweigh the boosted harm."
Dr. Jureidini went as far as to make a direct statement aimed at every pediatric physician seemingly willing to prescribe ineffective and even potentially deadly drugs to children "it is simply unjustifiable to prescribe children with anti-depressants."
It Gets Worse
One would assume that this is the point of the story where big pharma took a major hit to their public image and like lobbyists of the big tobacco denials of the past finally, get their comeuppance as they were rightfully scorned publically for even decrying the scientific reports heard by millions. Unfortunately, not even this revelation turned-mild-inconvenience would prove ultimately damaging, in the least.
As anyone reading this, perhaps for the second time, three or more years later, antidepressants are still being sold to mentally ill children by the millions. Not even after being proven to knowingly prescribe a pill they know could result in the death of children, or at the very least, be ineffective in treating a disease that today, ranks as the second-leading cause of adolescent fatalities.
Antidepressants Linked To Suicide
To conclude a depressing ending to an unjustifiable tale of greed and widespread malpractice with a fitting ending: This supposed revelationary report wasn't even the first of its kind.
As it turns out, in 2004, the FDA issued a black-box warning on the packaging of depression drugs informing the user that in some cases, antidepressants have been associated with an increased risk of suicidal ideation and behaviors in adolescents and young adults. It's no wonder Oxford's report was almost literally forgotten by the public overnight; they beat the study by twelve years, quite literally admitting to their unspeakable deeds directly to our face. We barely noticed.