Treating Teenage Depression

iStock_000050124278_MediumIf you have had a teenage child who's depressed, or even been around one who is, you know that such a state often creates panic on the part of parents, since impulsivity and adolescence also commonly sort together and the threat of self-harm seems present.  How egregious then, as Rick and I report on PodMed this week, that a mega pharmaceutical company should manipulate its data to purport a benefit to the common antidepressant paroxetine for the treatment of depression in this age group.  And kudos to the folks at RIAT, that's 'restoring invisible and abandoned trials,' for reanalyzing the data and publishing this paper in the BMJ.  Now we just need to get the word out to anyone who prescribes antidepressants to teenagers to abandon use of paroxetine.  Here's what happened:  in 2001 SmithKline Beecham published study 329, purporting positive results and an acceptable safety profile for this drug in adolescents. Now that the data has been crunched again, not only isn't there a benefit, significant harm with respect to suicidal ideation is seen.  The good news is the FDA has stepped in and fined the company a rather large amount, and we hope that acts as a deterrent to pharma to cease such practices in the future. We also support the RIAT initiative, which is calling for public access to primary data from all trials.

Other topics this week include a new drug for reducing death among those with type 2 diabetes in NEJM, taking blood pressure medicines at bedtime in Diabetologia, and the relationship between atrial fibrillation and dementia in JAMA Neurology.  Until next week, y'all live well.

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