Antidepressants in children: do the harms outweigh the benefits?


Close to 100,000 children in the UK are thought to be taking prescribed antidepressant medication, but are these drugs really doing them any good? Do the possible harms and side-effects of antidepressants in children outweigh their potential benefits, and what does the current evidence tell us? In this podcast, psychiatrist and psychopharmacologist Dr David Healy discusses his findings with Dr Raj Persaud, arguing that greater scrutiny of the evidence and a greater degree of professional autonomy are required in this area.


Date published: 14 March 2019

Presenter: Dr Raj Persaud

Interviewee: Dr David Healy

Audio running time: 41 minutes

Credits: 0.5


Learning outcomes


By the end of this podcast, we hope you will have gained an understanding of:


  • the way in which antidepressant prescribing in children has changed in recent years


  • the evidence base regarding the effectiveness of antidepressants in children


  • how and why SSRIs were developed


  • the detrimental effects that antidepressant drugs can have on children.



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If you like this podcast, you may also be interested in the following:


Podcast Long-term outcomes for the offspring of depressed parents with Professor Myrna Weissman


Module Depression in children and adolescents: Part 1 and Part 2 by Dr Raphael Kelvin

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