United Kingdom – Antidepressants Paxil, Aropax and Seroxat, often administrated to teenagers, were summited to analysis that described them as “ineffective and unsafe” for people under 25.

The study published in The BMJ journal found out that the drugs can be associated with suicide-related incidents, including suicidal thoughts and attempts, and are no better than a regular placebo. It was based on the same data of Study 329 by GlaxoSmithKline conducted 14 years ago that concluded the medicine was safe and effective.

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By the time Study 329 was released it was much criticized, and experts questioned how the research was conducted and alleging that the discovery of dangerous side effects had been downplayed. But an international team of researchers led by Professor Jon Jureidini found the original study may have indeed underreported the prevalence of suicide-related incidents by using an inaccurate coding system that led to fewer children being identified as suicidal, The New York Times reported.

Since 2004, Paxil has carried a Food and Drug Administration-mandated warning label that notes an increased risk of suicide in children – the warning was extended to people as old as 25 in 2007. Despite the discovery, Paxil continues to be recommended to people over the age of 25 who experience depression.

Jon Jureidini, a professor at the University of Adelaide in Australia, led the team that conducted the reanalysis of the Paxil study. He claims that it’s “hard to think there wasn’t some mischief being done,” and that there were efforts to devalue the adverse effects of the antidepressant, as reported by the Washington Post.


In 2012, GlaxoSmithKline pled guilty and paid a $3 billion fine for promoting Paxil and other drugs for unapproved uses. But in a statement to The Washington Post, the company has claimed that their decision to provide the Study 329 data to the researchers is reflective of its commitment to transparency. Nine of the 2001 study’s original authors released a statement standing by their research and indicated plans to write an in-depth letter rebutting the claims found in the BMJ article.

“There is a widely known increased risk of suicidality in pediatric and adolescent patients given antidepressants like paroxetine” said the statement.

Source: The BMJ