Philip Dawdy on Furious Seasons does an analysis on this study from The American Journal of Psychiatry which shows a majorly huge placebo success rate with SSRIs suggesting most kids don’t respond to antidepressants.
The placebo response rate is 49% and Philip wisely surmises:
That placebo response rate is huge, and should really give any parent, patient, advocate or clinician much pause when considering whether or not to give a child an anti-depressant. You have a roughly 10 percent chance of helping a child versus a, at minimum, 4 percent chance of inducing suicidality (see the FDA’s black box warnings on anti-depressants for that bit) and an even high likelihood of giving that child some other side effect of the medication. You know, like akathisia and withdrawal. In other words, this paper ain’t exactly a ringing endorsement of anti-depressant use in children and teens. If you read the paper and accompanying editorial, you can see researchers desperately trying to maintain their justification for using anti-depressants in kids. I won’t even begin to go after that. (read Philip’s whole post)