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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 54

of 'Effect of antidepressants on suicide risk in children and adolescents'

Trends in youth antidepressant dispensing and refill limits, 2000 through 2009.
Clarke G, Dickerson J, Gullion CM, DeBar LL
J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2012 Feb;22(1):11-20. Epub 2012 Jan 17.
BACKGROUND: Antidepressant (AD) dispensing for depression in youth declined in the years following the 2003-04 Food and Drug Administration actions regarding increased risk of suicidal behavior.
OBJECTIVE: To extend observation of youth AD dispensing and associated characteristics through 2009 to determine if AD dispensing continues to decline, has stabilized, or has rebounded.
DESIGN: Retrospective time series design.
SAMPLE: Youth (n=57,782) ages 10 to 17 inclusive.
RESULTS: Both new (incident) and refill AD dispensing continued to decline through 2009, with no sign of leveling off. However, among youth who started AD treatment the cumulative supply of AD medication remained consistent across the pre- and postperiods, suggesting that cumulative treatment episode duration has not been degraded--possibly as a function of greater days supply with each new refill in the postperiod. Prescribers dramatically curtailed preauthorized refills in the postwarning period.
CONCLUSION: Declines in AD dispensing to depressed youth may not reflect less intensive treatment for those youth who persist beyond the initial dispense. Lower rates of preauthorized refills may have been an attempt by prescribers to encourage return visits to evaluate response and adverse consequences.
Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research (CHR), Portland, Oregon 97227, USA. greg.clarke@kpchr.org