Young people advised not to use
The anti-depressant Seroxat should not be used to treat
youngsters under the age of 18, according to Government experts.
However patients should seek medical advice before discontinuing
Research shows that the use of Seroxat resulted in increases in
the rate of self-harm and potentially suicidal behaviour in under
The data, evaluated by the Committee on Safety of Medicines, made
clear that the benefits of Seroxat in children for the treatment of
depressive illness do not outweigh these risks.
In the last year approximately 4 million prescriptions were
issued and an estimated 8,000 patients under 18 years were treated
Chairman of the Committee Professor Gordon Duff said:
"Seroxat is not licensed for use in children but we know
it is used in this age group outside its licensed indications where
prescribers make a judgement on their own responsibility that it is
the right treatment for a particular patient. It is therefore
important that doctors, patients and parents are aware of the new
Seroxat is the tradename for the medicine paroxetine, which has
been used successfully to treat depressive illness in millions of
people worldwide over the last decade. The drug work by increasing
the level of the chemical serotonin in the brain, which helps to
alleviate the symptoms of depression.
Patients over 18 years and those who are benefiting from Seroxat
should not be frightened into stopping their medication, according
to Professor Ian Weller, Chairman of the Expert Group looking at the
drug and other related medicines.