NPR logo

Losing Julie: Teen's Suicide Blamed on Zoloft

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/3914957/3914958" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Losing Julie: Teen's Suicide Blamed on Zoloft

Children's Health

Losing Julie: Teen's Suicide Blamed on Zoloft

Losing Julie: Teen's Suicide Blamed on Zoloft

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/3914957/3914958" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Julie Woodward, 17, committed suicide one week after she began taking Zoloft. Courtesy Tom and Kathy Woodward hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy Tom and Kathy Woodward

Doctors have written millions of prescriptions for antidepressants called SSRIs for American children. But that practice has become controversial in light of research that suggests these drugs may increase the risk of suicide attempts and suicidal thinking in children and teens.

Some parents credit those medicines with saving their children from depression, but others say the drugs have caused suicides. On Monday and Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration holds hearings on the subject.

In the first of two reports, NPR's Joanne Silberner profiles Tom and Kathy Woodward, who blame SSRIs for the death of their 17-year-old daughter, Julie. She committed suicide seven days after she began taking Zoloft.