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FDA antidepressant warnings: Use caution when starting medication

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sometimes releases warnings on medications when a medication previously approved is shown to be potentially harmful. It’s possible for new side effects and other problems to come up after medications are approved and been on the market for awhile. Once a warning is issued (if the medication is not removed from the market), close monitoring continues. Why am I writing about this subject? In 2004, a warning was issued regarding antidepressant medication use in children and adolescents. This warning was later expanded to include young adults (ages 18 to 24). There was concern that antidepressants might increase the risk of suicide in these age groups (this risk was not found in those older than 24).
FDA antidepressant warnings: Use caution when starting medication
 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sometimes releases warnings on medications when a medication previously approved is shown to be potentially harmful. It’s possible for new side effects and other problems to come up after medications are approved and been on the market for awhile. Once a warning is issued (if the medication is not removed from the market), close monitoring continues. Why am I writing about this subject? In 2004, a warning was issued regarding antidepressant medication use in children and adolescents. This warning was later expanded to include young adults (ages 18 to 24). There was concern that antidepressants might increase the risk of suicide in these age groups (this risk was not found in those older than 24).

The FDA specifically advised:

    * Anyone who starts being treated with antidepressant medicines, particularly those being treated for depression, should be watched closely for worsening of depression and for increased suicidal thinking or behavior.
    * Close observation of adults may be especially important when antidepressant medications are started for the first time or when doses for their antidepressant medications have been changed.
    * Adults whose symptoms worsen while being treated with antidepressants, including an increase in suicidal thinking or behavior, should be evaluated by their health care professional.

Please take the time to review potential side effects with your health care provider. It’s important that you are well informed about both your illness and treatment options, including risks, benefits and alternatives.
 

By Mayo Clinic Staff
Jan. 17, 2009
© 1998-2009 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER)

 

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