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Results from an insight review commissioned by the Wellcome Trust, highlights what is currently known about the benefits and risks of using selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for the treatment of depression and anxiety in young people.

A boy in a hoodie sitting on a beach looking out to sea

One of a series of Wellcome Trust reviews of the active ingredients of interventions to prevent/treat depression and anxiety in young people was carried out by the team in the Psychopharmacology and Emotion Research Laboratory (PERL) at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford. They reviewed the literature about the use of antidepressants in young people aged 14-24 years, and held a series of online workshops with young people with lived experience, which were supported by the McPin Foundation and the NEUROSEC (Neuroscience, Ethics and Society) Young People Advisory Group. 

Dr Susie Murphy, Department of Psychiatry, said,

There is understandable disquiet about the use of antidepressants in young people and yet there are also significant risks associated with under-treating severe depression in this age group. It is important to understand the effects antidepressants have in young people so that they can make informed choices about the best treatment approach for them. 

A recent blog - Antidepressants and psychotherapy for adolescent depression: can they be compared? #ActiveIngredientsMH.

A new animation created with contributions from young people with lived experience from the McPin Foundation and NEUROSEC - Antidepressants for young people with depression and anxiety.

Listen to a podcast with Professor Catherine Harmer and Dr Susie Murphy discussing the knowns and unknowns of antidepressant effects in young people with the Mental Elf.

For more information about the work of PERL.

NIHR OXFORD HEALTH BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH CENTRE NEWS

Please follow the link below to read the news on the NIHR BRC website.

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