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 June 14, 2003
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Officials: Children Shouldn't Take Anti-Depressant Drug Paxil
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British health regulators say children under the age of 18 shouldn't be prescribed the anti-depressant drug Seroxat, which goes by the name Paxil in the United States.

A review found that children taking the drug may be more likely to partake in suicidal behavior or to do self-harm, BBC News Online reports.

The findings are expected to prompt health officials in Europe and the United States to review their advice on allowing doctors to give the drug to children.

The drug, made by GlaxoSmithKline, is not licensed for use in children or teenagers anywhere in the world. But some doctors, using their own judgment, do give it to children to treat depression.

Nine studies of more than 1,000 youngsters show there's an increased risk of self-harm and suicidal behavior in children under 18 who take the drug, says Britain's Department of Health.

Despite the warning about the danger to children and teens, Britain's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency says that adults using the drug shouldn't suddenly stop taking it.


-- Robert Preidt

Copyright � 2003 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

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