Intended for healthcare professionals


Number of children given antidepressants is rising, study shows

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: (Published 10 March 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i1457
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London

The number of UK children and adolescents treated with antidepressants rose by over 50% from 2005 to 2012, a study of five Western countries published in European Neuropsychopharmacology has found.1

Antidepressant use in young people declined sharply in 2004 after regulatory agencies around the world published “black box” warnings about prescribing selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to under 18s, because of an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviour.

To see whether this decline had been sustained, the researchers extracted data from regional or national databases in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The study looked at …

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