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"Black-Box" Antidepressant Warning Still Debated

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According to a report by the United Press International, the debate continues over the antidepressant’s “black box” label, warning of the increased risk for suicidal thoughts and behavior, especially among adolescents. Supporters of the warning see it as necessary and are upset that some doctors are needlessly prescribing these treatments to children. Critics of the warning believe that it scares people needing treatment away from the drug. While it is true that doctors are prescribing antidepressants less often, the cause for this decrease is still unclear.

The FDA did not place this warning on antidepressants to prohibit their use among children, but to remind and warn doctors and parents of the elevated risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior among children who take these drugs. The FDA hopes that the warning increases awareness of the potential risks among health providers, parents and patients. Only 10 other products approved for children carry the “black box” warning, the most serious FDA warning displayed on prescription medicine. Prozac is the only antidepressant that approved by the FDA to treat depression in children 18 and under