Friday, December 15, 2006

More Labeling on Anti-depressants

Every day I see more and more articles about the dangers of mixing anti-depressant medication with kids. I mean kids 25 and younger. Yet, so many kids, especially kids in the Medicaid system and in foster care, are on these meds. It is being proven study after study, about how these powerful psychotropic drugs cause suicide ideation and even other illnesses like diabetes. One big problem is how these drugs are also being used "off label" meaning that they are being used for things other than they were meant for.
Now it is being reported that the FDA is going to require drug companies to expand antidepressant warning labels to include increased suicide risk for young adults. Warning labels--first required in 2004--apply only to children and adolescents currently. An FDA review, released last week, of more than 372 studies of 11 drugs, including Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil and Lexapro, showed that the drugs may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts among adults younger than 25. The study found that 4 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds who took the drugs reported suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts, as opposed to 2 percent of patients who took a placebo. What's more is that it is being reported that because these drugs make the person feel a bit better (deemed 'the rollback phenomenon"), that they then have the ability to actually carry out their suicidal intentions.
"If you have a very depressed unhappy person and you start them on medicine, the first one or two weeks on therapy when they're feeling a little better is when they're at highest risk of wanting to kill themselves," child psychiatrist Adelaide Robb told the NewsHour in a 2004 interview.
"And the reason is they finally have enough energy to get out of bed and go to the store and buy the Tylenol or the razor blades. Not because the medicine makes them worse, but because the medicine makes them well enough to finally do it."
Labelling is one thing, but perhaps we ought not be dispensing this poison to our kids in the first place. Whatever happened to teaching people how to cope with their problems? The fact that we have preservatives, additives, and other garbage in our food supply (as well as the vaccines we are pumping into our kids' arms), which are creating havoc with our brains and nervous systems is something that we (and the FDA) ought to be addressing. We have major problems surfacing with these psychotropic medications, and black box labels will not make them go away. What's worse is that prenatal and postpartum depression are getting press and this has severe implications for moms to be, their unborn children, and new moms as well.

The facts are in: keep children, teens, young adults, and pregnant women away from psychotropic medication.