Antidepressant Paxil not safe for teenagers

Sep 16, 2015, 7:55 PM EDT
Bottles of antidepressant pills Wellbutrin (L-R) , Paxil, Lexapro, Effexor, Zoloft and Fluoxetine are shown March 23, 2004 photographed in Miami, Florida.
Photo Illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

New research published in BMJ cites antidepressant Paxil as unsafe for teenagers which counters medical research published years ago. The New York Times writes:

Fourteen years ago, a leading drug maker published a study showing that the antidepressant Paxil was safe and effective for teenagers. On Wednesday, a major medical journal posted a new analysis of the same data concluding that the opposite is true.
 
That study — featured prominently by the journal BMJ — is a clear break from scientific custom and reflects a new era in scientific publishing, some experts said, opening the way for journals to post multiple interpretations of the same experiment. It comes at a time of self-examination across science — retractions are at an all-time high; recent cases of fraud have shaken fields as diverse as anesthesia and political science; and earlier this month researchers reported that less than half of a sample of psychology papers held up.
 
 
Only one antidepressant, fluoxetine (Prozac) is approved by the FDA for treating depression in teens. But other medications in the same class, known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are commonly prescribed by doctors for younger patients in so-called off label use. Their comfort in doing so comes from trials like Study 329.
 
Jon Jureidini, professor and research leader of critical and ethical mental health at the University of Adelaide, charges that the authors of the original 2001 paper “deliberately misrepresented the outcomes of the study” and changed the protocols of the study without following the proper procedures to do so.
 
Dr. Martin Keller of Brown University, who led Study 329, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the current reanalysis.
 
All trials are designed with a strict protocol that defines, before the trial starts, what the researchers will measure and how they will measure it. These protocols are approved by review boards to ensure that they are scientifically sound and that they follow ethical guidelines for protecting the safety of the trial participants, who volunteer for the study. Any change in the objectives needs to be submitted to and approved by the board again.

 

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