By: Jadon Webb, MD, PhD
It can be overwhelming being a parent looking for help dealing with depredssion in your child.
You obviously want the safest, healthiest treatments possible. No experiments or high risk ideas! If you are considering medication for help with depression, you probably can see how many different possibilities there are. Dozens of different therapies and medications all promise help for depression, so how can you as a parent sort out the best ones?
A scientific review from 2020 may be able to help you sort through the options. These researchers compared common medications and therapies that are used as treatments of depression, to see which was the safest and most effective.
Surprisingly, the winner of it all was fluoxetine (generic Prozac™). After sorting through mounds of evidence, fluoxetine appears to have the strongest evidence for treating moderate or severe depression.
This is extremely useful as a starting point for selecting a good first treatment for your child. Fluoxetine has been used since the 1980s, so there is considerable short and long term safety data. It is also much cheaper (sometimes literally hundreds of times cheaper) than some of the newer antidepressants that have no proven clinical advantage.
This paper also notes that combining therapy with medication (such as cognitive behavioral therapy) is likely an even more effective approach. At Bloom we strongly encourage all clients with depression to be in therapy while we treat them. It works much better!
If your child needs help for depression, especially for moderate to severe depression, talk to your provider about some of the trusted, older antidepressants such as fluoxetine.
about the authorS
Jadon Webb, M.D., Ph.D.
Owner, Bloom Mental Health
Disclaimer: this blog is NOT intended as medical advice and does not imply any kind of specific guidance or treatment recommendations, and should NOT be used to guide a treatment protocol. (read full disclaimer)