“Antidepressant Paxil Is Unsafe for Teenagers, New Analysis Says”

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In a major story, the New York Times presents the re-analysis by David Healy, Jon Jureidini, Mickey Nardo and others of Study 329, published in the British Medical Journal yesterday, that finds “five of six adverse events labeled ’emotional lability’ in the original study involved suicidal thinking or behavior but were not presented as such.” The re-analysis, according to the Times, “reverses an earlier conclusion that caused a long-running dispute, and opens the way for journals to post multiple interpretations of the same experiment.”

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Mickey Nardo’s explication of the re-analysis can (and should) be found on his website, 1 Boring Old Man.

From the New York Times article:

“Fourteen years ago, a leading drug maker published a study showing that the antidepressant Paxil was safe and effective for teenagers. On Wednesday, a major medical journal posted a new analysis of the same data concluding that the opposite is true.

“That study — featured prominently by the journal BMJ — is a clear break from scientific custom and reflects a new era in scientific publishing, some experts said, opening the way for journals to post multiple interpretations of the same experiment. It comes at a time of self-examination across science — retractions are at an all-time high; recent cases of fraud have shaken fields as diverse as anesthesia and political science; and earlier this month researchers reported that less than half of a sample of psychology papers held up.

“‘This paper is alarming, but its existence is a good thing,’ said Brian Nosek, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, who was not involved in either the original study or the reanalysis. ‘It signals that the community is waking up, checking its work and doing what science is supposed to do — self-correct.'”

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