The use of Prozac in children is controversial because research has suggested an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in children and teenagers who take this popular antidepressant.
For example, one prominent study indicated that almost 4 percent of children and teens taking Prozac reported an increased risk in suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
As a result, in July of 2005 the Food and Drug Administration required manufacturer Eli Lilly to attach a black box warning label on Prozac. A black box warning is their most serious level of warning.
The warning stated that Prozac and other antidepressants may cause suicidal thoughts or actions in both children and young adults.
Therefore, the FDA recommended that any patient who is prescribed Prozac be closely monitored for increased levels of suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
Prozac is a prescription medication that is used to treat depression, panic attacks, eating disorders, PMS, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and other conditions.
It is a member of the class of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) that work by increasing the level of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the body. Depression is thought to be caused by an imbalance of serotonin in the body.
In addition, notify your healthcare provider if your depression or anxiety worsens, or if you experience insomnia, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, irritability, agitation, aggression, restlessness, symptoms of Prozac withdrawal, or anything that seems out of the ordinary.
If your child experiences any thoughts of harming themselves while taking Prozac, take them to the nearest hospital emergency room to be assessed by an on-call psychologist or psychiatrist.
If your child refuses to go, call for an ambulance and notify the police who can both ensure that your child remains safe and gets assessed quickly.
Afterwards, inform your prescribing doctor of the situation. Recruit the help of supportive family and friends who can help you.
Only administer Prozac as prescribed by your doctor. Do not adjust doses, or administer a double dose to make up for a misse dose.
As always, discuss these concerns with your doctor. Report any side effects to your prescribing doctor, and seek medical attention if your child experiences a severe or unusual reaction.