Monday, September 13, 2004

Sorting Antidepressant Evidence is Tough

The US Food and Drug Administration started their review of the data regarding the risk of suicidal behavior in children and adolescents who are treated with antidepressant medication. The meeting started today and ends tomorrow (9/14/2004). I checked on the FDA site to see if they have posted any updated information, but apparently they don't have any bloggers on their staff, because there is nothing new yet -- ever though they adjourned for the day several hours ago.

Google lists 133 news articles already. The best title I saw was this one:

Sorting antidepressant evidence is tough
Dallas Morning News (subscription), TX - 2 hours ago
By KAREN PATTERSON / The Dallas Morning News. Drug regulators are ready to make hard decisions about the safety of antidepressant medicines. ...

Other article titles are : FDA Panel Debates Suicide Risk for Kids On Antidepressants; Mom Credits Prozac with Saving Child's Life; Reviewer Says Depression Drugs, Suicide Linked. Notice that the titles span a spectrum from "Yes, there is a risk;" to "The risks are debatable;" to "We can't tell if there is a risk;" up to "These drugs saved my child." The consumer, meanwhile, has to sort this out.

In this post, I do what I can to make sense of it, even though the data are not as straightforward as we would like.  Read the rest at The Rest of the Story.