Occupy Corporatismby Susanne Posel
Researchers with the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Gillings School of Global Health (GSGH) published a study that found “children and young adults initiating therapy with antidepressants at high-therapeutic (rather than modal-therapeutic) doses seem to be at heightened risk of deliberate self-harm.”
Matthew Miller, lead author of the study and associate professor at HSPH asked : “The design of the study was meant to really address the question, does dose matter? If I were a parent, I definitely wouldn’t want my child to start on a higher dose of these drugs.”
The research was conducted on Celexa, Zoloft and Prozac.
In their conclusion, the researchers warned that their “findings offer clinicians an additional incentive to avoid initiating pharmacotherapy at high-therapeutic doses and to closely monitor patients starting antidepressants, especially youth, for several months.”
In patients younger than 24, it was shown that 18% were prescribed higher initial doses of anti-depressants which is in violation of “current medical guidelines”.
Indeed, this study showed that “suicidal behavior is twice as likely when children and young adults are randomized to antidepressants compared with when they are randomized to placebo.”
The “health care utilization data” was collected on “162,625 US residents with depression ages 10 to 64 years who initiated antidepressant therapy with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors at modal or at higher than modal doses from January 1, 1998, through December 31, 2010.”
It was deduced by the findings that “the rate of deliberate self-harm among children and adults 24 years of age or younger who initiated high-dose therapy was approximately twice as high as among matched patients initiating modal-dose therapy.”
With estimations at 1 out of 150 patients being prescribed “high” does instead of “modal-dose[s]” it is clear that this study questions the practices of doctors and psychiatrists who prescribe anti-depressant medication with regard to appropriate dosage for children and young adults less than 24 years of age.
The study revealed that the risk of suicide was greatest within the first 3 months of treatment.
Miller commented: “It certainly is one more piece of information that should make doctors reluctant to start younger patients on high doses; even if those doses are within the therapeutic range.”
The International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry (ISEPP) released a statement after the Sandy Hook shooting wherein they called “for an inquiry into the connection between these acts of mass murder and the use of psychotropic drugs.”
In their press release, the ISEPP pointed out that: