Antidepressant Medication and Children: Tips for Parents
Childhood depression is a very serious health problem that affects one in 8 adolescents and one in 33 children. Left untreated, depression can lead to significant problems at home, in school and with peers - as well as to life-threatening problems such as substance abuse and suicide. The good news is that depression in children is very treatable, with psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of the two.
In October, 2004 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered that SSRIs prescribed for children carry a "black box" label the strongest warning the agency puts forth regarding the potential risk for suicide.
In light of this warning, NMHA offers the following tips for parents on how best to approach their child's care.
Additional information for parents and families concerned about the use of medication in treating depression in children and adolescents is available at www.parentsmedguide.org.