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Zoloft studied in children and teens

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CHICAGO, Aug 27, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Zoloft, a commonly prescribed antidepressant for adults, was found to be effective for children and adolescents, but a placebo also came close.

The research, financed by the drug's maker, Pfizer, and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found 69 percent of the subjects with diagnosed clinical depression who took the drug improved significantly, compared with 59 percent of those who took a placebo.

The difference was termed by some experts as modest, the New York Times reported.

Two months ago, British health officials, acting on the basis of data from unpublished studies, warned another antidepressant, Paxil, made by GlaxoSmithKline, was linked with increased suicidal thoughts and behavior in children and adolescents, and should not be prescribed for them.

Zoloft has not been linked with suicide in children or adolescents, but in this study two of the 189 subjects who took Zoloft attempted suicide, as did two of the 187 who received the dummy pills.

Three additional subjects in the drug group reported having thoughts of suicide, compared with none in the placebo group.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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