For years, the antidepressant Paxil has been considered safe for the treatment of major depression in teenagers. This is largely due to a 2001 study of the drug which tracked depression scores among teenage subjects receiving Paxil, a placebo, or imipramine, a generic antidepressant. In light of this study, antidepressant prescriptions among teenagers increased 36 percent from 2002 to 2003.
In September 2015, the original study data was reanalyzed. Upon review of the data, researchers concluded that Paxil is not safe or effective for the treatment of depression in teenagers. While the drug is considered beneficial in the treatment of adults over age 25, side effects of Paxil include suicide risk in teenage patients.
Though statistics are not available, suicide and other violent behaviors have been associated with the use of and withdrawal from Paxil.
Reanalysis of the original data uncovered that Paxil was not clearly effective in treating adolescent depression. Serious side effects of Paxil were mislabeled and played down, perhaps in efforts to make the drug look better. Dr. David Healy, an author of the reanalysis and psychiatry professor at Bangor University, reveals that adverse events noted in the original study were referred to as emotional lability, but actually involved suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Through patient-level analysis of study files, it was found that self-harm occurred and patients suffered suicidal ideations, though no suicides took place.
The reanalysis also shows that Paxil is not more effective than a placebo or imipramine in treating adolescent major depression. While self-harm increased significantly with both drugs, the reanalysis notes that this unfavorable data was ignored by trial researchers, citing that Paxil and the placebo showed no significant differences.
If your teenager has suffered the severe side effects of Paxil, help is available. Our dangerous drug lawyers are experienced in handling these types of claims and can help you determine your legal options.