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Antidepressant Use Rising Among Children

A November 18, 2004 Reuters News story using the preceding head line begins by stating, as outlined by new research doctors are prescribing more antidepressants for kids and adolescents despite the fact that there's hardly any evidence regarding their safety or efficiency in kids.

Dr. Ian Wong of the Centre for Paediatric Pharmacy Research with the University of London was one of many researchers who conducted the case study. They compared prescribing trends in Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico by utilizing information from a global database which contains a representative sample of doctors in each country. Dr. Wong noted that Britain had the greatest rate of increase with 68 percent while Germany, with 13 percent, had the lowest. He commented, "The quantity of prescriptions in various countries for kids with mental illness is increasing."

Dr. Wong did observe that the rate of rise in England was higher since the amount of children that have been taking antidepressants was low when compared to United States. "In England, the amount of prescriptions per child for the type of illness is really ten times less than in America. When you've got an extremely low baseline the rise is a lot quicker," Dr. Wong said.

The content noted that earlier this year New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer accused drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline Plc in a lawsuit of fraudulently suppressing information about its antidepressant Paxil, that is sold as Seroxat in Europe. The lawsuit claimed that the drug was broadly ineffective in kids and may boost the risks of suicidal behavior.

Wong and his colleagues concluded, "We believe the usage of psychotropic medications in kids is a global public health issue, that ought to be analyzed in partnership with pharmaceutical companies, governments and researchers."

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