So-called black box warnings on prescription medications are supposed to alert people to the possibility that using the medication can cause serious or life-threatening events. They often, but not always, do this well.
The dangerous, outdated black box warning on all antidepressants, including newer, safer SSRI antidepressants (Prozac was the first of these) represents one of the failures of this process. These strident warnings about teens and young adults are required on every container of antidepressants and advertisements for them. The often-exaggerated media reports of the dangers of these antidepressants give them the air of incontestable truth.
More than a decade’s worth of studies have revealed that the warnings on these antidepressants aimed at teens and young adults, which are intended to alert clinicians to be on the lookout for young people having thoughts of suicide at the start of treatment, have actually discouraged teens and young adults from