Antidepressant prescribing practices for the treatment of children and adolescents

Supriya K. Bhatia, Amy J. Rezac, Benedetto Vitiello, Michael A. Sitorius, Bruce A. Buehler, Christopher J. Kratochvil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Objective: This study evaluates pediatric antidepressant prescribing practices of Nebraska clinicians. Methods: Surveys were sent in July, 2005, to 1,521 prescribing clinicians throughout Nebraska to assess pediatric antidepressant use along with any practice changes following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) "black box" warning issued in October, 2004. Results: Over half (n 866) of the clinicians responded to the survey, of which 96.8% reported awareness of the FDA "black box" warning. Of the respondents, 76.9% (n = 666) were prescribing antidepressants to children and/or adolescents. Clinicians reported decreased prescribing frequency for both children (15.5%) and adolescents (36.6%), with 36% having increased referrals to specialists. While 31.9% reported seeing patients more frequently upon initiation of antidepressants, only 7.5% reported weekly visits for the first month of treatment, as recommended by the FDA. Over one fifth (21.9%) reported a caregiver or patient had refused antidepressant medication treatment due to the FDA's warning. Conclusion: Clinicians in Nebraska report changes in clinical practice due to the issuance of the FDA "black box" warning, with a decrease in prescribing antidepressants to pediatric patients and an increase in referrals to specialists. Although awareness of the FDA's warning was evident among clinicians and patients, adherence to recommended guidelines was low.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-80
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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