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fluoxetine (PROZAC, SARAFEM)


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  • Research as Public Relations: Antidepressants and Suicide in Youth [hide all summaries]
    (October 2007)
    Because of evidence from a number of studies, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently required a “black box” label for all SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressants indicating that use in children could lead to an increased risk of suicidal behavior. Now comes a study published in the prestigious American Journal of Psychiatry (Volume 164, pp. 1356-1363) purporting to show, in effect, the opposite: the FDA warnings had caused the rate of pediatric SSRI prescriptions to plummet and as a result young people are killing themselves due to lack of treatment. If this were true, it would be a clear example of the unintended consequences of regulation. The paper and its subsequent publicity appear to be little more than a public relations ploy. The editors of the AJP should not have allowed such gross misrepresentations to pass into print unscathed, and journalists who cited this study as if it deserved equal credence to the RCTs are just as guilty.

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