Impact of regulatory safety warnings on the use of antidepressants among children and adolescents in finland

Veerle Foulon, Anni Svala, Hanna Koskinen, Timothy F. Chen, Leena K Saastamoinen, J. Simon Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The aim of this study was to analyze changes in the prevalence and incidence of antidepressant use among children and adolescents in Finland post October, 2003. Method: The sample comprised all children and adolescents in Finland aged ≤19.0 years (n=27,676) who collected one or more reimbursed prescriptions for an antidepressant in noninstitutional and nonhospital settings between January, 1998, and December, 2005. Time-series models were used to compare antidepressant use 60 months before and 24 months after the health advisory issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in October, 2003. Results: The annual prevalence (users/1,000 youths) of antidepressant use increased from 5.24 in 2002 to 5.93 in 2005. There was an increase in the monthly incidence (users=1,000 youths) of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) use (+0.02498), fluoxetine use (+0.00691), and sertraline use (+0.00727) post October, 2003. When considering preadvisory trends in antidepressant use, only fluoxetine use was higher than the predicted post October 2003, use (<0.001). The use of all other SSRIs was significantly lower than predicted. Conclusions: In contrast to many other countries, the use of antidepressants continued to increase among children and adolescents in Finland post October, 2003. While the rate of fluoxetine use increased, there was a decline in the rate at which all other SSRIs were used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-150
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010

Cite this