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"What are good anti-depressants?"


I am a teenager that has been dealing with depression for a little over a year. I have researched a lot about anti-depressants but they all seem deadly. This frightens my mother and I so I am looking for a solution. What are good anti-depressants that I should consider getting that are the safest and can help with depression the best?


There has been a lot of negative press in the recent years about anti-depressant use in teenagers and adolescents and your concern is understandable. Recently the FDA has added “black box” warnings to some of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants for increased suicidality. What most people think of when they hear this term is suicide or suicide attempts.

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However, in the pediatric trials that were done with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as fluoxetine (Prozac® ), citalopram (Celexa®) sertraline (Zoloft®), which are the most common class of medication for depression and included 4,400 adolescents and young adults, no suicide deaths occurred. So what has been referred to as an increase in suicidality appears to actually be an increase in suicidal thoughts without an actual increase in suicides. All of this is not to diminish the real concern of increased thoughts of suicide, however, these risks should be weighed in light of the risks of untreated depression. On the other hand, serious depression is associated with increased a number of health risks including substance abuse, worse heart health health, worse blood sugar control and very significant increase in suicide. In addition, having untreated suicide is associated with a decreased ability to function at school, work and home. So though, medications for the depression treatment have some risks, the benefits frequently outweigh the potential risks of untreated depression. Your primary care physician can help you and your mother weigh the risks and benefits of specific medications and also talk with you about talk therapy which can be done by a psychiatrist and in combination with medication has been shown to be the best treatment overall. Good luck!

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