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Antidepressants used in combination with CBT reduces risk of teen suicide

The use of the antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac) alone has been associated with increased suicidality among teens and children, leading to black-box warnings on antidepressants in those populations. This in turn has caused serious concern in parents and has discouraged prescription, according to some researchers. A recent report on this issue focused on combining Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with the fluoxetine and found that “adding CBT to medication enhances the safety of medication. Taking benefits and harms into account, combined treatment appears superior to either monotherapy as a treatment for major depression in adolescents.”

In a related report, the researchers added that cognitive behavior therapy “should be made readily available as part of comprehensive treatment for depressed adolescents” and added that such a shift in the current practice would be of “considerable public health relevance.”