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"Antidepressants lower suicide risk for adults, raise it for youths"


Source: CBC.CA

Published: 03 Feb 2022

Category: Pharmaceutical

Rating: (3 stars)

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

A class of antidepressants thought to raise the risk of suicide among teens may significantly reduce the risk in adults, a review suggests.

In Tuesday's issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, researchers from Italy and the World Health Organization reviewed eight studies involving more than 200,000 patients with moderate or severe depression who took selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)...

The original article can be found at:

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 5 of 9
Availability of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Novelty of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Not Applicable
Costs of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Evidence Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Quantification of Harms of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

In general, this short article raises some very legitimate concerns regarding the use of SSRIs to treat depression in children and youth. The question at stake here is which patients are most likely to benefit from SSRI treatment and which are more likely to be harmed? The systematic review mentioned in this article attempts to answer this question.The main failing of the article is that it does not provide important details about the review itself; without commenting on the design and methodologic quality of the 8 CMAJ articles being reviewed (and the design of the review itself), readers are left to question how much they can rely on the conclusions reached.

While no numbers are attached to the benefits or risks of treating children and youth with SSRIs, the fact that the article mentions the need for RCTs implies that there is a limitation to information gleaned from this observational study.

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