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FDA Advisory Against Anti-depressants to Be Expanded to Cover Young Adults too

ressants work by increasing the activity of certain chemicals work in our brains called neurotransmitters. They pass signals from one brain cell to another. The chemicals most involved in depression are thought to be Serotonin and Noradreline.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists notes in the case of drugs that inhibit serotonin receptors, the SSRIs, in the first couple of weeks of taking them, you may feel sick and more anxious.

Some of these tablets can produce nasty indigestion, but you can usually stop this by taking them with food. More seriously, they may interfere with your sexual function. There have been reports of episodes of aggression, although these are rare.

It also says, "There is no clear evidence of an increased risk of self-harm and suicidal thoughts in adults of 18 years or over. But, individuals mature at different rates. Young adults are more likely to commit suicide than older adults, so a young adult should be particularly closely monitored if he or she takes an SSRI antidepressant." Such is the conventional wisdom.

But on Wednesday the FDA asked makers of anti-depressants to expand the warning labels to include adults age 18-24.

Eli Lilly and Co., the maker of Prozac, Zoloft manufacturer Pfizer Inc. and other pharmaceutical companies said they would comply with the FDA's request.

"We believe this step will help ensure that the millions of people with depression who are young adults age 24 and under and their families can make informed treatment decisions while minimizing the fear and stigma associated with depression," Eli Lilly said in a statement.

Pfizer spokeswoman Shreya Prudlo said the company would update its label, which she said already calls for close monitoring of patients when they begin taking Zoloft. She added, however, "There is no established causal link between Zoloft and suicide in adults, young adults or children."

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