Antidepressant Use in Teens Seen as Effective
Wed Jun 2, 2004

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. study has found that antidepressant Prozac helps teenagers overcome depression far better than talk therapy, but that a combination of the two produced the best result, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.

The government-financed study, sponsored by the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, was the first to compare psychotherapy and drug treatment for depressed adolescents, the newspaper said.

The study comes as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (news - web sites) is studying whether widely used drugs such as Eli Lilly and Co.'s Prozac increases the risk of children and teenagers committing suicide, but officials have said they have not yet reached a conclusion.

The new study found that talk therapy, in which a patient discusses problems with a therapist, statistically was by itself no more effective in reducing depression than treatment with placebos, the newspaper said.

When combined with drug treatment, psychotherapy appeared to provide added benefit and to reduce suicide risks, the Times said.

Experts say the study was notable for its size and because it was carried out without financing by drug manufacturers, the newspaper said.

The study was presented in Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday at a meeting of psychiatric drug researchers, the newspaper said.