Past Articles

Depressed Children Twice as Likely to Get Drugs from General Practitioners

Of pediatricians and general practitioners (family physicians) surveyed in North Carolina recently, approximately half of pediatricians and over three-quarters of the general practitioners claimed to refer children they diagnosed as "depressed" to psychiatric specialists for care. Just over 60% of all respondents claimed to attempt brief counseling of depressed children in their clinics, and 18% of general practitioners reported prescribing anti-depressant medication, fully twice the rate of prescription reported by pediatricians. General practitioners were found to be more likely than pediatricians to prescribe selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), the class of drug to which Prozac, Zoloft, and others belong.

Source: Pediatrics 2000;105:957-962.