Depression in Children
Medicines for depression may be used with care.
The doctor may prescribe antidepressants for children with severe depression and anxiety. Children taking antidepressants must be watched closely.SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are a type of antidepressant that usually have few side effects. However, in some children, teenagers, and young adults, SSRIs make depression worse or cause thoughts of suicide. The Food and Drug Administration has warned that patients younger than age 25 who are taking SSRIs should be watched closely for signs that the depression is getting worse and for suicidal thinking or behavior. This is especially important during the first 4 to 8 weeks of treatment.
See the section on Depression and Suicide in the PDQ summary on Pediatric Supportive Care for more information.