Antidepressant Use by Children Decreases after Warnings


The number of children who are being prescribed antidepressants decreased by 9.8% after the FDA issued black-box warnings in October 2004.

A study presented by i3 Research at a June meeting of the New Clinical Drug Evaluation Unit of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) showed that the number of patients receiving a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) or a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) had decreased by 11.9°%.

The FDA issued the boxed warning after a safety review indicated an increased risk of suicide among children using antidepressants. To determine the impact of this warning on antidepressant prescribing trends in the children, i3 Research examined de-identified health care claims data from a large U.S. health plan from one year before and for one year after the warnings were issued. cialis canadian pharmacy

Of the 3.8 million eligible patients in the database, more than 62,000 patients who were 17 years of age and younger were prescribed an antidepressant prior to the warning, mainly for Major Depressive Disorder, whereas more than 56,000 were prescribed one after the warning.

About 50% of the patients were 15 to 17 years of age. The greatest decrease in use (by 14.5%) occurred in patients younger than nine years of age.