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Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2014 Dec;23(12):1211-8. doi: 10.1007/s00787-014-0523-1. Epub 2014 Feb 4.

Use of SSRIs among Danish children: a nationwide study.

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Clinical Pharmacology, Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, JB Winsløwsvej 19, 2, 5000, Odense C, Denmark,


Our objective was to describe the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in the entire Danish population of children and adolescents from 1995 to 2011. Data on filled SSRIs were obtained for all children in Denmark aged 5-17 during 1995-2011. The amount and type of SSRIs filled were calculated as well as incidence rates and prevalence proportions. Furthermore, we looked at concurrent use of other psychotropic drug treatment duration. A total of 23,547 children aged 5-17 used SSRIs during the study period, most commonly sertraline followed by citalopram. Overall, the incidence rate increased from 0.57 per 1,000 person years in 1997 to 3.30 in 2010 and fell to 2.55 in 2011, while the prevalence proportion rose from 0.1 per 1,000 children at the end of 1995 to 3.3 at the end of 2011. However, these findings were driven entirely by an increase among adolescents (12-17 years), where the prevalence proportion rose from 0.11 and 0.36 to 4.64 and 8.52 per 1,000 boys and girls, respectively. A significant proportion of SSRI users used other psychotropic drugs concurrently, most notably antipsychotics (12-28 %) and psychostimulants (10-33 %). About 50 % of adolescents and 40 % of children discontinued treatment within 12 months of initiation. We found a marked increase in the use of SSRI drugs among adolescents in Denmark between 1995 and 2011. Whether this increase reflects a true increase in disorder occurrence, an increase in diagnostic intensity or more aggressive treatment remains uncertain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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