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Med Care Res Rev. 2011 Feb;68(1):96-111. doi: 10.1177/1077558710374197. Epub 2010 Jul 30.

Characterizing declines in pediatric antidepressant use after new risk disclosures.

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Yale School of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


Steep declines in pediatric antidepressant use were documented following the 2004 release of new safety information associating antidepressants with a risk of suicidality. The authors examine whether declines in pediatric antidepressant use were steeper among individuals with certain clinical or family characteristics. The authors find that declines in antidepressant use were associated with new (as compared with ongoing) treatment episodes. Although rates of antidepressant use were higher among children of college-educated parents prior to risk disclosures, these children were more likely to forgo antidepressant medication than children of less educated parents after risk disclosures. The authors find that both children with and without psychiatric impairment experienced declines in antidepressant medication use following the risk warnings, although the decline occurred more quickly in the latter group. The authors' findings highlight the need for additional data to assess the effects of risk disclosures on treatment patterns and health outcomes.

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