Connie b. Dellobuono

Meta analyses of short duration randomized clinical trials have found that SSRI use is related to a higher risk of suicidal behavior in children and adolescents.

For instance, a 2004 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) analysis of clinical trials on children with major depressive disorder found statistically significant increases of the risks of “possible suicidal ideation and suicidal behavior” by about 80%, and of agitation and hostility by about 130%.

According to the FDA, the heightened risk of suicidality is within the first one to two months of treatment.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) places the excess risk in the “early stages of treatment”.

The European Psychiatric Association places the excess risk in the first two weeks of treatment and, based on a combination of epidemiological, prospective cohort, medical claims, and randomized clinical trial data, concludes that a protective effect dominates after this early period. A 2012 Cochrane review found that at six to nine months, suicidal ideation remained higher in children treated with antidepressants compared to those treated with psychological therapy.

A recent comparison of aggression and hostility occurring during treatment with fluoxetine to placebo in children and adolescents found that no significant difference between the fluoxetine group and a placebo group.

There is also evidence that higher rates of SSRI prescriptions are associated with lower rates of suicide in children, though since the evidence is correlational, the true nature of the relationship is unclear.

In 2004, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in theUnited Kingdom judged fluoxetine (Prozac) to be the only antidepressant that offered a favorable risk-benefit ratio in children with depression, though it was also associated with a slight increase in the risk of self-harm and suicidal ideation.

Only two SSRIs are licensed for use with children in the UK, sertraline (Zoloft) andfluvoxamine (Luvox), and only for the treatment of obsessive–compulsive disorder. Fluoxetine is not licensed for this use.

The SSRIs, in decreasing toxicity in overdose, can be listed as follows:

  • Citalopram (due to the potential for QT interval prolongation)
  • Fluvoxamine
  • Escitalopram
  • Paroxetine
  • Sertraline
  • Fluoxetine

Antidepressants May Increase Your Risk of Bipolar Disorder

If you’re considering the use of antidepressants, it’s probably because you want to feelbetter. However, antidepressants called serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may leave you with a new set of mental challenges, specifically symptoms of mania or bipolar disorder.

SSRIs include drugs such as Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa and Lexapro. Researchers from King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience reviewed more than 21,000 medical records for the recently published study.

Antidepressants During Pregnancy Linked to Autism

It’s estimated that 14 percent of U.S. pregnant women use antidepressants, often after being assured they are safe. But a growing collection of research suggests serious caution is warranted.

Most recently, a JAMA Pediatrics study concluded that use of antidepressants, specifically SSRIs, during the second and/or third trimester increases the risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children, even after considering maternal depression.

Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy Linked to ADHD and Birth Defects

It’s not only a potentially increased risk of autism that should prompt women who may become pregnant, and those who already are, to carefully consider the use of antidepressants.

Research shows taking SSRIs when you’re pregnant may increase the risks of low birth weight, preterm birth, fetal death, infant death, neonatal seizures, and the need for mechanical ventilation.

SSRI Stories: Antidepressant Nightmares

The potential side effects of antidepressants stretch far and wide. For instance, research suggests taking an SSRI may double your risk of bone fractures.

This is because serotonin is also involved in the physiology of bone.

If you alter serotonin levels with a drug, it can result in low bone density, boosting fracture risk. A large study of post-menopausal women also found that those taking tricyclic antidepressants or SSRIs were 45 percent more likely to suffer a fatal stroke.

The research also found that overall death rates were 32 percent higher in women on the drugs, while other research linked antidepressant use to thicker arteries, which could contribute to the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Among the most concerning side effects, however, especially to society as a whole, are suicidal thoughts and violent behavior.

Non-Drug Options for Treating Depression

Research confirms that there are safe and effective ways to address depression that donot involve unsafe drugs. This includes addressing your gut health, as mentioned above, and more:

  • Dramatically decrease your consumption of sugar (particularly fructose), grains, and processed foods. (In addition to being high in sugar and grains, processed foods also contain a variety of additives that can affect your brain function and mental state, especially MSG and artificial sweeteners such as aspartame.)
  • Increase consumption of probiotic foods, such as fermented vegetables and kefir, to promote healthy gut flora. Mounting evidence tells us that having a healthy gut is profoundly important for both physical and mental health, and the latter can be severely impacted by an imbalance of intestinal bacteria. Avoiding sugar will also help toward this end.
  • Get adequate vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 deficiency can contribute to depression and affects one in four people.
  • Optimize your vitamin D levels

    , ideally through regular sun exposure. Vitamin D is very important for your mood. In one study, people with the lowest levels of vitamin D were found to be 11 times more prone to depression than those who had normal levels.29

  • Get plenty of animal-based omega-3 fats. Many people don’t realize that their brain is 60 percent fat, but not just any fat. It is DHA, an animal-based omega-3 fat, which, along with EPA, is crucial for good brain function and mental health.30
  • Evaluate your salt intake. Sodium deficiency actually creates symptoms that are very much like those of depression. Make sure you do not use processed salt (regular table salt), however. You’ll want to use an all-natural, unprocessed salt like Himalayan salt, which contains more than 80 different micronutrients.
  • Get adequate daily exercise, including high-intensity exercise, which is one of the most effective strategies for preventing and overcoming depression. Studies on exercise as a treatment for depression have shown there is a strong.
  • Sleep, volunteer, eat sulfur rich whole foods (yellow colored,garlic,yams)