Objective: Pharmacotherapy of depression in children and adolescents is complex. In the absence of research into the efficacy and safety of antidepressants in this group of patients, their off-label prescription is common. This paper aimed to illustrate the prescription pattern of antidepressants in children and adolescents from major psychiatric centres in Asia. Methods: The Research on Asia Psychotropic Prescription Pattern on Antidepressants worked collaboratively in 2013 to study the prescription pattern of antidepressants in Asia using a unified research protocol and questionnaire. Forty psychiatric centres from 10 Asian countries / regions participated and 2321 antidepressant prescriptions were analysed. Results: A total of 4.7% antidepressant prescriptions were for children and adolescents. Fluoxetine, sertraline, and escitalopram were the most common antidepressants prescribed for children and adolescents. Almost one-third (30.3%) of prescriptions were for diagnoses other than depressive and anxiety disorders. There was less antidepressant polypharmacy and concomitant use of benzodiazepine, but more concomitant use of antipsychotics in children and adolescents compared with adults. Conclusion: Off-label use of antidepressants in children and adolescents was reported by 40 Asian psychiatric institutions that participated in the study. In-service education and regulatory mechanisms should be reinforced to ensure efficacy and safety of antidepressants in children and adolescents.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||East Asian Archives of Psychiatry|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2016|
- Antidepressive agents
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health