Anti-Depression Drugs
Can Backfire If Given
For Wrong Reasons,11720,96740|06-02-2000::13:00,00.html
Although antidepressants such as fluoxetine (Prozac) can cause an amazing turnaround in people with severe depression, researchers in Wales warn that in healthy people who aren't depressed, Prozac-like drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can actually cause depression, and even suicidal despair.
Why would people who aren't depressed be taking antidepressants in the first place?
Some doctors now prescribe such drugs for patients, including children, who might be down in the dumps but do not have more serious clinical depression. A wire service report from The Times of India adds that doctors are even prescribing these drugs as a treatment for hot flashes in women going through menopause.
When 20 volunteers at the North Wales Department of Psychological Medicine took the antidepressant sertraline (Zoloft or Lustral), two became dangerously suicidal. Unfortunately, the body doesn't eliminate SSRIs quickly, so in people who have severe reactions, the effects of the drug could linger for a week or more.
A report in the Australian newspaper The Age describes the study, which advises that "women and children and those who are least ill may be most at risk."


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