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CNS Spectr. 2003 Apr;8(4):283-7.

Medication treatment for depression in children and adolescents.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pennsylvania, USA.


Depression in children and adolescents is relatively common and associated with significant morbidity and mortality-thus, it is strongly deserving of treatment. To date, there have been a number of randomized, controlled trials of both tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in the acute treatment of depression in youths. Surprisingly, the available data do not demonstrate TCA superiority over placebo for this disorder in this age group. There is, however, evidence of SSRI superiority to placebo, and longer-term treatment with SSRIs may help prevent recurrence. There is almost no data on other pharmacologic approaches. Effective use of the efficacious treatments also depends on effective case-finding and providing treatment, which families and youths will take in adequate quantity and duration. The right approaches to these aspects of effective treatment are greatly understudied.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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