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Scientists have uncovered clues as to why children and adolescents
may get more aggressive or even suicidal while taking the widely
prescribed antidepressant Prozac.
A new study has found that juvenile hamsters became aggressive
on low doses of Prozac (fluoxetine) but less aggressive on high doses.
By contrast, adult hamsters were calm on both high and low doses
of the drug
Pediatric use of antidepressant medications -- especially a newer
class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs),
of which Prozac is a member -- has been the subject of extended
In October 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration directed
manufacturers of SSRIs, which include Celexa, Paxil, Prozac and
Zoloft, to put a special "black-box" warning on the drugs' labeling.
The warning alerts health-care providers about an increased risk
of suicidality in children and teens using the medications.