Prozac prescribed for primary school children

Depressed children as young as eight should be treated with Prozac if therapy fails to help, doctors were told this week.

Following a review of the use of Prozac, the European Medicines Agency has recommended an extension in the use of the antidepressant in the treatment of children.

The agency’s committee for medical products for human use concluded that the benefits of Prozac for children aged eight or over who suffer moderate to severe depression and who do not respond to psychological therapy “outweigh its potential risks”.

However, doctors and parents were warned to carefully monitor children given the drug for signs of suicidal behaviour.

The committee also called for the drug’s manufacturer to carry out further studies to verify its on-going safety.

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