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Questions Your Doctor May Ask Before Prescribing Medicine for Depression in Children and Teens - Topic Overview

Antidepressant medicines often work well, but they do have some risks and side effects. Their use may increase the risk of suicide, especially in the first few weeks of use. If your child starts antidepressants, be sure to be aware of this risk and get help if you see any of the warning signs.

Before prescribing medicine, your doctor will check your child for possible suicidal thoughts by asking a few questions. Some of the questions your doctor may ask your child include:

  • Have you lost interest in things you used to enjoy?
  • Have you had any change in how well or when you sleep?
  • Have you been feeling down, depressed, or hopeless much of the time?
  • Do you drink alcohol or use substances? How often do you drink or use? How much?
  • Have you heard voices that other people do not hear, or have you believed things that others do not believe to be true?
  • Have you had any thoughts about hurting yourself?
  • Have you ever felt so bad that you wished you were dead?
  • Have you ever tried to kill yourself?

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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