Paroxetine treatment in children and adolescents with major depressive disorder: A randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

Graham J. Emslie, Karen Dineen Wagner, Stan Kutcher, Stan Krulewicz, Regan Fong, David J. Carpenter, Alan Lipschitz, Andrea Machin, Christel Wilkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

92 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess the efficacy and tolerability of paroxetine in pediatric major depressive disorder. Method: Subjects 7 to 17 years old with major depressive disorder received paroxetine (10-50 mg/day) or placebo for 8 weeks from 2000 to 2001. The primary efficacy measure was change from baseline in the Children's Depression Rating Scale-Revised total score at week 8 last observation carried forward). Safety was primarily assessed by spontaneous reporting of adverse events. Results: A total of 206 patients (intent to treat) were randomized to paroxetine (n = 104) or placebo (n = 102). Week 8 Children's Depression Rating Scale-Revised total score adjusted mean changes from baseline for patients receiving paroxetine and placebo were -22.58 (SE 1.47) and -23.38 points (SE 1.60), respectively (0.80, 95% confidence interval -3.09 to 4.69, p = 0.684). Increased cough (5.9% versus 2.9%), dyspepsia (5.9% versus 2.9%), vomiting (5.9% versus 2.0%), and dizziness (5.0% versus 1.0%) occurred in ≥5% of the paroxetine group and at least twice that of the placebo group. Six of 104 (5.8%) paroxetine patients reported serious adverse events compared to 1 placebo patient (1.0%). The incidence of adverse events of suicidal behavior and/or ideation while taking study medication (excluding taper) was 1.92% (2/104) for paroxetine versus 0.98% (1/102) for placebo. Conclusions: Paroxetine was not shown to be more efficacious than placebo for treating pediatric major depressive disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)709-719
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2006



  • Major depressive disorder
  • Paroxetine pediatric
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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