Antidepressant prevalence for youths: A multi-national camparison

Julie M. Zito, Hilde Tobi, Lolkje T.W. de Jong-van den Berg, Joerg M. Fegert, Daniel J. Safer, Katrin Janhsen, Dorte Gilså Hansen, James F. Gardner, Gerd Glaeske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare antidepressant prevalence data in youths across three western European countries (Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands) with US regional data in terms of age and gender and to show proportional subclass antidepressant (ATD) use. Method: A population-based analysis of administrative claims data for the year 2000 was undertaken in 0 to 19-year-old enrollees who were part of the insured populations from four countries having a total of from 72,570 to 480,680 members. Results: ATD medication utilization in the US dataset (1.63%) exceeded that of three Western European countries (prevalence ranged from 0.11 to 0.54%) by at least 3-fold. There were major variations in the use of subclasses: tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) predominated in Germany while selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) predominated in the US, Denmark and the Netherlands. Conclusions: Cross-national variations should be further explored to understand the factors related to these differences and how prevalence differences relate to effectiveness and safety. Community-based cohorts should be followed to establish outcomes in the usual practice setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)793-798
Number of pages6
JournalPharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2006


  • Children and adolescents
  • Pharmacoepidemiology
  • antidepressants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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