One of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants for children and adolescents can increase the risk of aggression and suicide, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).
Responding to this research, Stephen Buckley, Head of Information at Mind, said:
“More than 57 million prescriptions for antidepressants were written in 2014. It’s important to remember that the overwhelming majority of people taking this medication are not violent. The link between dangerousness and mental health problems is often exaggerated which is unhelpful."
“However, we know from anecdotal evidence that some people report feeling suicidal or may experience aggressive feelings when taking certain antidepressants. This research provides some data on the link in young people, though we still need to understand more about why the link exists."
“Current NICE guidelines on treating moderate to severe depression in under 18s indicates that antidepressants should be offered only in combination with a talking therapy and with additional safeguards to check for any adverse reaction to the medication, including aggressive or suicidal feelings. Parents or carers should be involved in discussions about treatment choice and should be made aware of any risks."
“Anyone concerned about the medication they are taking for their mental health should speak to their GP, psychiatrist or community psychiatric nurse. We would advise people not to stop taking their medication without support from a health professional.”