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Home Wellness Research ADD, ADHD, and other Psychological Disorders Antidepressant Use on the Rise Among US Children

Antidepressant Use on the Rise Among US Children

Wednesday, 22 October 2008 15:12

Prescriptions for antidepressant medications for children and teenagers rose substantially during the 1990s, US researchers have found. In 1994, 13 to 19 out of every 1,000 children were prescribed an antidepressant. Prescriptions were most common among boys aged 10 to 14 and girls aged 15 to 19.

Whether a child was treated by a primary care physician or a psychiatrist seemed to affect prescription choices, the authors add. ADHD was the most common diagnoses in children who were prescribed an antidepressant by a primary care physician. In contrast, the primary medical diagnosis in children treated by a psychiatrist was most likely to be depression.

Dr. Julie Magno Zito, of the University of Maryland in Baltimore, and colleagues report. "The expanded utilization of antidepressants for the management of behavioral and emotional disorders of youth in the 1990s was prominent," they advise that more research is needed to strengthen the evidence that the medications are appropriate for children and teens.

Source: Pediatrics 2002 (May);   109 (5):   721-727