Antidepressants can lead to suicide in kids

It's one of the most irresponsible studies I've ever seen -- because it could convince doctors and parents alike to make a decision with fatal consequences.

And that's the decision to give antidepressant drugs to a child.

You know the score with these meds. In many patients, they do nothing at all. But for some, especially kids and teens, the drugs can actually cause suicidal ideation. One drug, fluoxetine (Prozac), can even double the risk of suicidal ideation in children -- and that number comes right from the FDA's own data.

So you have to question anyone who claims otherwise -- like Dr. Robert Gibbons, a University of Chicago researcher who says, in essence, forget those FDA numbers.

Trust the numbers from him and his team instead -- because their new look at data on fluoxetine and venlafaxine (Effexor) finds absolutely no evidence the drugs increase the risk of suicide or suicidal ideation.

But there's a huge problem with his study, and I'm not the only one who spotted it. Researchers from Harvard University noticed that Dr. Gibbons used a form of analysis that's open to bias.

It's called mediation analysis, and even when it was used the study actually found that the drugs did increase the risk of suicide and suicidal ideation in kids -- but since it didn't reach statistical significance, at first glance it looks like a win for the meds.

The FDA's numbers show otherwise.

And that's not the only serious question here, because Dr. Robert Gibbons has served as an expert witness for the U.S. Department of Justice, and Wyeth in cases related to antidepressants and anticonvulsants and suicide.

Wyeth is the original maker of Effexor, which is now part of Pfizer.

I think that's a huge conflict of interest, so I'm not going to start recommending these drugs for kids based on this study. Besides, even if the drugs were safe for kids -- and they're clearly not -- there are much better ways to treat and beat depression.

I know, because I've not only seen the science that backs these all-natural mood boosters, I also see the results in my own clinic every single day.

And they work for adults as well as kids.