Intended for healthcare professionals


Increase in non-evidence based use of antidepressants in children is cause for concern

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 18 March 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:711
  1. Antonio Clavenna, senior research fellow (,
  2. Maurizio Bonati, head,
  3. Elisa Rossi, statistician,
  4. Marisa De Rosa, senior researcher
  1. Laboratory for Mother and Child Health, Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, 20157 Milan, Italy
  2. Interuniversity Consortium, Bologna, Italy

    EDITOR—The use of antidepressants in children is increasing, although the evidence for the effectiveness and safety of pharmacological treatment of depressive disorder in children and adolescents is scant1 and widely debated2—particularly for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).3 4

    We used the ARNO database ( to analyse drug …

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