Long thought to be safe for treating depression in teenagers, a new analysis has been published showing that Paxil should not be prescribed to patients in this age group. Considered controversial from the beginning, the original study, published in 2001, led to a surge in antidepressants being prescribed to teenagers.
The new study reviewed the data collected during the original trial. It found an increase in suicidal thoughts and behaviors among study participants. It also found that Paxil was not more effective than a placebo or imipramine, another antidepressant administered during the original trial, in treating major depression in adolescents.
According to Dr. David Henry of the University of Toronto, who co-authored an editorial which accompanied the latest study, the original study gave the false impression that Paxil was safe for use in children and teenagers, and provided effective treatment. In the original study, researchers classified behaviors in such a way that the amount of suicidal thoughts and self-injuries appeared to be less than what actually occurred. Henry notes that it is unclear if this was accidental or if the findings were deliberately mischaracterized in attempts to show that Paxil was safe for adolescent use.
Taking Paxil or going through withdrawal has been associated with violent actions and suicide. The Food and Drug Administration ordered manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline to warn of the side effects of Paxil, which includes the suicide risk among teenagers taking the drug.
While these findings are shocking, they do indicate self-correction within the medical community. Professor Brian Nosek of the University of Virginia says this is a good thing, and shows that the community is alert and checking their work.
If your teenager has experienced thoughts of suicide, self-harm, or other side effects of Paxil or other dangerous drugs, contact GWC Injury Lawyers today to speak to an attorney regarding your claim, free of charge.