Antidepressant use in children dropped in 04Use of antidepressant drugs among children in U.S. declined 10 percent last year, according to pharmacy benefits firm, Medco Health Solutions.
The antidepressant category suffered controversy after evidence that the medications can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts within some children became public.
The falling numbers of children who take the drugs is a turnaround compared to years of upward moving amounts of prescription rates for drugs such as Eli Lilly's Prozac, GlazoSmithKline's Paxil and Pfizer's Zoloft, and the pattern of the data hint that the numbers may continue to drop.
Numerous studies have shown a three- to tenfold rise in the use of antidepressants among children between 1987 and 1996, and an additional increase of 50 percent between 1998 and 2002. There was a further increase of about 9 percent between 2002 and 2003.
Regulators have now required that pharma companies place a "black box warning" on the drugs as a cautionary step.