What You Need to Know if Your Child
or Teen May Need Antidepressants
by Kevin Caruso
If your child may need antidepressants, you need to know the following:
1) 2% to 3% of children who take antidepressants will experience an increase in suicidal thoughts and behavior
2) Prozac is the only antidepressant approved by the FDA for use by children and teens, although doctors oftentimes prescribe other antidepressants.
3) All antidepressants except Prozac are illegal to administer to children and teens in Great Britain.
4) Although Prozac may be the "least problematic," it still carries risks and possible side effects.
5) The antidepressants with the highest incidence of child suicide according to studies are Effexor and Paxil. Thus, you probably should not allow your child to take Effexor or Paxil.
6) There are numerous anecdotal accounts of parents who say that antidepressants caused their children to die by suicide.
7) There are numerous anecdotal accounts of parents who say that antidepressants helped their children recover from depression.
8) It is a good idea to get more than one opinion if your child may need antidepressants. Consult with as many health professionals as possible.
9) You should learn as much as possible about antidepressants.
10) You will make the decision whether you want your child to take antidepressants or not - do not let anyone force that decision upon you.
11) If your child does take antidepressants, monitor him or her as closely as possible, particularly when he or she is just starting or ending antidepressant therapy.
12) If your child is going to stop taking antidepressants, it is best to slowly reduce the dosage instead of abruptly stopping. If your child does abruptly stop taking the medication, a severe reaction may occur. Always work with your health professionals to assist you in doing this properly.
13) Antidepressants oftentimes require several weeks to begin to work.
14) Although antidepressants require time to become effective, numerous anecdotal reports from parents have indicated that children and teens can become suicidal shortly after taking the drugs. So increased thoughts of suicide may occur within days, or even hours.
15) Antidepressants do not work for all young people.
16) The dosage may need to be altered until an optimal dosage is found.
17) Immediately report any change of behavior or problems to the health professionals who are assisting you with the antidepressants.
18) Consider all other treatment options before using antidepressants.
19) If your child is acutely suicidal (that is, he or she is at a very high risk for suicide), he or she should be in a hospital under very close observation.
20) Always remove everything from the house that your child may use to die by suicide. Lock up guns and knives. Remove sharp objects. Remove or lock up medications. Remove ropes, cords, cables, etc. Think of every way that your child can die by suicide, and remove the means. Go through every room in the house, including the garage, and inspect the exterior of your house also. Remove every single potential problem.
21) Ask every question that you can think of to the medical professionals who are treating your child, and do not leave until all of your questions are answered to your satisfaction
22) If for whatever reason you do not like the medical professionals who are treating your child, consider finding others.
You decide who will be best for your child.
23) You should talk with your child as much as possible so you will know what he or she
is thinking and feeling. And always take talk about suicide very seriously.
24) Always remember this: Your child CAN die by suicide.
If you or someone you know is suicidal, please go to the Home Page of this website for immediate help.
I love you.