Paxil for children

When we mention about children, we can take into account the adolescents and young adults too. If children are ignorant of the effects caused by Paxil, adolescents and young adults are negligent about it. The result is going to be the same for all these three categories. Generally children are not aware of depression or anxiety and mostly they do not suffer of these problems, whereas, adolescents and young adults do not care about the after effects of using this drug. Their young blood is ready to confront any challenge that may threaten them. Anyway, children, adolescents and young adults are not supposed to take Paxil, unless it is prescribed to save their life.

Adults suffering from depression and anxiety only deserve treatment with Paxil. Depression causes problems in thinking, mood and behavior. Specifically, children have behavioral problems at home, school and also with peer members. About 5% of adolescents are affected with major depressive disorder. Researches have proved that children and adolescents having depression can be treated. The treatment involves specific antidepressants which are known as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). There are also some psychological therapies that are effective in treating depression in children and adolescents. However, we have only a limited knowledge on treating children and adolescents with antidepressants when compared to the knowledge we have on treating the adults.

Studies in the recent past have suggested that using antidepressant drugs in treatment of young adults also causes suicidal thoughts in them. After scanning through the results of the clinical trials in children and adolescents in this direction, the Federation of Drugs and Administration in the United States issued a warning in 2004 on the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior in children and adolescents with severe depression and anxiety problems when they are treated with antidepressants such as Paxil. Subsequent to this, it was also recommended by the advisory committee to FDA that the warning should be extended for youths also up to age 25.

Recent pediatric trials which concluded in 2006 indicate that benefits of SSRIs could outweigh the risks caused by them in respect of children and adolescents suffering from depression and anxiety. The Journal of the American Medical Association published this study in April 2007. The FDA reviewed around 2,200 children treated with SSRI drugs, but found no committed suicide. However, nearly 4% of this population was found to have developed suicidal thoughts. Therefore, the FDA issued a Black Box warning that SSRIs cause suicidal thoughts in children and adolescents.

It is important to know that SSRIs include fluoxetine, sertraline, paroxetine, citalaprom, escitalopram and fluvoxamine. Venlafaxine, or Effexor, is closely related to an SSRI drug. The SSRI generation containing the above drugs is the improved version when compared to the older antidepressants because they have fewer side effects. They have been proved to be safe for adults. Yet, it is alarming that use of SSRIs has increased among children and adolescents of age up to 19. It is obvious that they use only the prescribed SSRIs. The FDA has approved Fluoxetine (Prozac) only for treating children of 8 years and above. The other SSRIs, such as paroxetine, have not been approved for treating children or adolescents having depression. However, it is a concern that doctors still prescribe them for children. Again, in 2003 the FDA had warned that paroxetine should not be used for treating children and adolescents having major depressive disorder (MDD). Even fluoxetine, which is helpful in treating children, can increase suicidal thoughts in some adolescents. It is therefore imperative that doctors and patients should jointly judge on the risks and benefits on case to case basis.