According to a group of researchers from Chicago, antidepressant medications like Effexor and Prozac are no more dangerous a suicide risk to youths even though both medications have been issued a black box warning which suggests that very thing.
This new study, published online by the Archives of General Psychiatry, has not found a link between young people using Prozac and Effexor as a means of treating their depression and an increased risk of suicide. For the study, the researchers analyzed data taken from 41 different clinical trials that included 9,000 adult and youth participants. The researchers did not find any link between the use of Prozac or Effexor and suicide, which is in stark contrast to previous studies that showed the exact opposite. These new findings are causing confusion among parents and caregivers of young people who may be in need of antidepressant medication to control depression symptoms.
In fact, previous studies showed that SSRI medications like Effexor and Prozac not only caused suicidal thoughts and behavior, they also caused aggressive and even homicidal thoughts and behaviors, too. This is just one of the reasons the FDA issued a black box warning against the pills in 2004. The black box warning noted that the drugs were “linked to an increased risk of suicide for children and young adults under the age of 25. The warning was based on the findings of 25 previous clinical trials that led to the conclusion.”
SSRIs have also been proven to cause birth defects in babies whose mothers took the pills during pregnancy. Some of the birth defects linked to SSRIs like Effexor include PPHN, cleft palate, neural tube defects and heart, lung and brain defects. While this study seems to give parents and caregivers hope insofar as depression treatments go, it should not be ignored that these pills have also been proven to be very dangerous to youths and adults alike.