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Effexor Side Effects May Not Include Increased Suicide Risk

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Chicago, ILCertain antidepressant drugs may not actually raise the suicide risk in young people, a new study says, according to HealthDay News, but there are still Effexor side effects that may affect newborn children.

The news source reported that the latest findings may lead to a reassurance for doctors who prescribe antidepressants to youngsters, according to author of the study Robert Gibbons, a professor of medicine, health studies and psychiatry at the University of Chicago.

According to the news source, the US Food and Drug Administration ordered a "black box warning" for fluoxetine in 2004, after data from 25 clinical trials suggested that the medications increased the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in children and young adults.

However, this recent analysis of data from 41 clinical trials involving a total of more than 9,000 patients failed to identify a link between the drugs and suicidal thoughts in either adults or children.

"I hope that the [black box] warnings will not prevent depressed children and adults from getting treatment for depression," Gibbons said in a university news release.

According to the news source, Dr. Mark Russ, the director of psychiatric services at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, New York, noted that the study "argues that treatment with the antidepressant medications not associated with a higher risk of suicidal ideation and behavior, and should not be withheld for this reason."

The study also found that Prozac and another antidepressant known as Effexor reduced suicidal behavior and depression in adults and seniors.

"I think that this paper supports the general idea that the effects of antidepressants in kids and adults are not really the same, since we don't see anything but beneficial effects of antidepressants in adults and geriatrics," Gibbons said in the release. "In kids, we don't see a harmful effect, but we do see a disassociation between the beneficial effects on depression and the potential beneficial effect on suicide."

Despite the recent findings, the FDA has maintained its warning on Effexor regarding its use by women who are pregnant, as these individuals taking the drug may experience complications when their baby is born, according to the FDA's website.


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