Document Type


Journal Title

Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology

Publication Date





Recent controversies surrounding the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have highlighted the need to reassess potential benefits, as well as potential risks of this class of medications in the treatment of pediatric depression. The recent availability of data from meta-analyses of published and unpublished antidepressant trials, epidemiological studies, and the Treatment for Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS) has facilitated a reanalysis of this risk/benefit relationship. Despite reviewing similar data, various regulatory agencies have arrived at rather disparate conclusions regarding the data, resulting in continued controversy. Although all groups appear to agree that careful assessment, education regarding risks, and closer monitoring are essential for SSRIs, only the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.K. Medicine and Health Care Products Regulatory Agency maintain that an acceptable risk/benefit relationship exists for fluoxetine. The European Medicines Agency concluded that the SSRIs should not be used in the treatment of depression in children and adolescents. The authors of this review have taken into consideration many of these same data and offer a critical discussion of the pros and cons of SSRIs in pediatric depression. The authors have concluded that SSRIs -- in particular, fluoxetine -- do have a role in the treatment of pediatric depression.

MeSH Headings

Adolescent, Age Factors, Child, Depressive Disorder, Major, Humans, Risk Factors, Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors, Suicide, Treatment Outcome




This is a copy of an article published in the Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology © 2006 copyright Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.; Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology is available online at:

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