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Anxiety and depression seem as if they are at an all-time high for college students. Many, under the guidance of professionals, turn to antidepressants to help them. However, a very commonly prescribed drug could be doing more harm than good.

According to research published in the journal The BMJ, paroxetine — sold under Paxil, Aropax and Seroxat, may be “ineffective and unsafe” for people under the age of 25. The research shows that the drug is associated with suicidal thoughts and attempts. “Neither paroxetine nor high dose imipramine showed efficacy for major depression in adolescents, and there was an increase in harms with both drugs. Access to primary data from trials has important implications for both clinical practice and research, including that published conclusions about efficacy and safety should not be read as authoritative,” the study said.

The research was a reanalysis of an earlier study, Study 329, from 2001 by the by Paxil manufacturer. The study apparently had many inaccuracies during its reporting, however the company, GlaxoSmithKline, is standing by the original findings. “To describe our trial as ‘misreported’ is pejorative and wrong, both from consideration of best research practices at the time, and in terms of a retrospective from the standpoint of current best practices,” it wrote in a statement.

Every year, thousands of teenagers commit suicide in the United states. It is the third leading cause of death for 15 to 24 year olds.

Paxil is prescribed to treat depression, OCD, panic disorder, PTSD, social anxiety disorder and other conditions that commonly occur in teenagers and young adults.

If you or someone you know is experiencing anxiety, visit the Teen Health & Wellness website, or call 866-615-6464.

Do you or someone you know take Paxil?