A new Newsweek report suggests that the black-box labeling of antidepressants may be killing teenagers. According to the article,
the number of SSRI prescriptions for pediatric depression (ages 5 to 18) tumbled more than 50 percent between 2003 and 2005. In a troubling parallel development, the number of teen suicides jumped a record 18 percent between 2003 and 2004, the most recent year for which data exist.
Whether the two facts are connected is still up in the air, but many healthcare professionals suspect they are. “All the data point in one direction: antidepressants save lives and untreated depression kills people,” says Dr. Kelly Posner, a child psychiatrist. Dr. Robert Gibbons of the University of Illinois’s Center for Health Statistics told Newsweek, “I think the FDA has made a very serious mistake. It should lift its black-box warning because all it’s doing is killing kids.”