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The Forest Laboratories, a manifacturor of antidepressant Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate) reported that the drug has been approved for treating major depressive disorder (MDD) in people aged 12 to 17.
The statistics show that some 2 million teens in the United States have had a bout of MDD in the past year.

Lexapro is among a class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and has been approved for adults back in 2002. Lexapro’s use in treating adolescent depression was evaluated in two placebo-controlled studies.

The U.S. Justice Department filed a complaint against Forest last month alleging that the drug maker had inappropriately promoted Lexapro for use by children. The company has denied the complaint's allegations.
Lexapro and similar antidepressants do include an FDA "black-box" label warning they carry an increased risk of "suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults compared to a non-medicinal placebo.

The warning advises that anyone considering the use of Lexapro or any other antidepressant in a child, adolescent, or young adult "must balance this risk with the clinical need."


Lexapro is a dangerous drug. I don't think it should be prescribed for people under the age of 18. Heavy lobbying by the drug manufacturer apparently resulted in its approval by the FDA. I think this has more to do with benefits to the manufacturer rather than benefits to the kids.