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

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2006 Jun;45(6):709-719. doi: 10.1097/01.chi.0000214189.73240.63.


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 >or=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.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / drug therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Paroxetine / therapeutic use*
  • Placebos
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Placebos
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Paroxetine