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Second Generation Antidepressants for Pediatric patients with Major Depressive Disorder and Anxiety Disorder: A Review of the Clinical Effectiveness and Safety

Last updated: June 11, 2015
Project Number: RC0667-000
Product Line: Rapid Response
Research Type: Drug
Report Type: Summary with Critical Appraisal
Result type: Report

Question

  1. What is the clinical effectiveness of second-generation antidepressants for the treatment of pediatric patients with major depressive disorder?
  2. What is the clinical evidence on the safety of second-generation antidepressants for the treatment of pediatric patients with major depressive disorder?
  3. What is the clinical effectiveness of second-generation antidepressants for the treatment of pediatric patients with anxiety disorder?
  4. What is the clinical evidence on the safety of second-generation antidepressants for the treatment of pediatric patients with anxiety disorder?

Key Message

The benefits and risks of prescribing second-generation antidepressants in children and adolescents vary by indication. In patients with anxiety disorders, antidepressants have been shown to improve symptomology with no association of suicidal behavior. Although second-generation antidepressants are likely to benefit pediatric patients with major depressive disorder, the existing data on risk of suicidality have been conflicting so far. Early evidence suggests that combination therapy of cognitive behavior therapy with an antidepressant may be statistically more effective in response to treatment and preventing relapse than either monotherapy alone.