Antidepressant use in children: a less depressing story

Christopher M Harrison and Helena C Britt
Med J Aust 2005; 182 (2): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2005.tb06587.x
Published online: 17 January 2005

To the Editor: A recent editorial in the British Medical Journal reported advice from the UK Committee on Safety of Medicines that most types of selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) should not be used in the treatment of major depression in children.1 The editorial sparked interest in the Australian media, resulting in articles in large metropolitan newspapers with titles such as “Army of kids on antidepressants”.2 General practitioners were targeted as the cause of reported “over-prescribing”.

  • Christopher M Harrison
  • Helena C Britt

  • General Practice Statistics and Classification Unit, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW.



We thank the GPs who participated, and the Australian Department of Health and Ageing; Astra Zeneca Pty Ltd (Australia); Janssen-Cilag Pty Ltd; Roche Products Pty Ltd; and Merck Sharp and Dohme (Australia) Pty Ltd for funding the Bettering the Evaluation and Care of Health (BEACH) study.

Competing interests:

This study was researched, analysed and reported as an independent analysis of data from the BEACH study.


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