Research News

Most antidepressants are ineffective in children and teenagers, study shows

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i3234 (Published 09 June 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i3234
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. London

Most currently available antidepressants “do not seem to offer a clear advantage” in children and teenagers with major depression, a comprehensive meta-analysis has shown.1

The researchers carried out a systematic review and network meta-analysis of all published and unpublished randomised trials comparing any antidepressant with placebo or with another antidepressant in the acute treatment of major depressive disorder in children and adolescents (mean age 9-18 years). They included 34 trials published from 1986 to 2014 looking at the effects of 14 antidepressants in a total of 5260 participants.

Results showed that only one antidepressant drug, fluoxetine, was significantly more effective …

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