Tuesday, September 14, 2004

More on children and antidepressants

Dr. James Baker MD, at "Mental Notes," weighs in on the issue: "I can't tell you how many so-called "treatment failures" I've been asked to consult upon among teens on antidepressants for whom I could not discern why the patient was on the medication in the first place...." He thinks that some of these kids may be getting the wrong diagnosis, and hence, the wrong treatment, which contributes to poor outcomes. (Diagnosing children can be so challenging.....)

Surprise - while I'm posting this, Dr. Baker sent me a comment! (Thanks!) He's a firm advocate for using evidence-based treatments, which may include longer-term counselling and family therapy. He points out that "FDA officials say that none of the research they are using to condemn antidepressant use reaches statistical significance." Granted, there are tremendous problems with the research (ma'am, may we please enroll your desperately depressed child in a research study?)

I'll be interested to see how the FDA alters the official warnings. I'm reminded of a comment by Alisha, below: "I guess it's often easier to blame the pills..."


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