Psychiatric drugs for children make it to Parliament

A study published by the British Journal of Medicine reveals the negative effects of psychiatric drugs on children and teenagers. Leaders will talk about it at the European Parliament.

Not only are psychiatric drugs ineffective to treat children’s depression, they can even worsen their condition, promoting suicidal thoughts in some of the patients. Yet, antidepressants are still nonchalantly administered to children and adolescents so much so a political campaign is now asking the EU Parliament to take these products off the market, or at least to adopt tighter regulations.


psychiatric drugs
Psychiatric drugs


Paroxetine, a molecule that mustn’t be administered to children but is often found in prescriptions despite what the Healthcare Ministry recommends, was the drug in the eye of the storm. And paroxetine is exactly the subject of a recent study published in the British Medical Journal, which demonstrates that this substance is ineffective in treating children’s depression and which denounces global drug giant SmithKline for manipulating data on the side effects of this dangerous molecule. According to research, paroxetine “didn’t show efficacy for major depression in adolescents”, on the contrary, it increased the risks for patients’ health. And in the last 14 years the pharmaceutical giant Glaxo has been trying to conceal the negative effects of this active ingredient contained in most of the antidepressants that yielded the company more than 15 billion dollars.


“The efficacy of paroxetine and imipramine was not statistically or clinically significantly different from placebo for any prespecified primary or secondary efficacy outcome – reads the BMJ’s study – There were clinically significant increases in harms, including suicidal ideation and behaviour and other serious adverse events in the paroxetine group and cardiovascular problems in the imipramine group”.


Following the publication of the study, the European Parliament will talk about the decision to launch an investigation into the multinational’s possible violation of antitrust community regulations. In Italy, the committee “Giù le Mani dai Bambini” (hands off the children), which supervises the safety of pediatric drugs, asked Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin to talk about how to control the administration of psychiatric drugs to children and teenagers in occasion of World Children’s Day.


depression teenagers children
Depressed teenage girl sitting in bedroom with pills


“A significant step – says Luca Poma, editorialist and spokesperson of Giù le mani dai bambini – Now, it’s time to get to work to protect children’s health”.

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