Researchers Supriya Bhatia and Christopher Kratochvil, M.D., of the University of Nebraska Medical Center have found a significant decrease in the number of prescriptions given out by physicians after a “black box” warning was imposed by the FDA on antidepressant medication for children and teens. The 2008 research surveyed physicians in Nebraska. The “black box” warning came in 2004, after evidence surfaced that kids taking anti-depressants were experiencing increased levels of suicidal thinking and behaviour. The warning was meant to alert physicians to be careful in weighing the costs and benefits of prescribing anti-depressants to kids and to emphasizing the importance of monitoring kids on these meds. The results of the research validate the importance of government oversight and the practical impact “black box” warnings can have. It is also significant to note that, for some kids and teens who may already have suicidal inclinations, anti-depressant medications, ironically, can exacerbate this.
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