Use of psychotropic medications in Italian children and adolescents

Antonio Clavenna, Elisa Rossi, Marisa DeRosa, Maurizio Bonati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: The evidence of psychotropic drug safety and efficacy in the pediatric population is scant and widely debated. Yet, the prescription prevalence and incidence are increasing. A drug utilization study, based on a multiregional prescription database was therefore carried out in a sample of 1,484,770 Italian children and adolescents younger than 18 years during the year 2004. Furthermore, the trend of psychotropic prescription prevalence was evaluated from 1998 to 2004. During 2004, 4,316 children and adolescents received psychotropic drugs (2.91‰ youths). Antidepressants were prescribed to 3,503 youths (2.36‰), antipsychotics to 1,005 (0.68‰), and lithium to 73 (0.05‰). A total of 265 youths received drugs from more than one psychotropic class. The prevalence rate of psychotropic drug prescriptions increased with increasing age, with a statistically significant trend (χt 2 = 2443; pt 2 = 298; pt 2 = 501; p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-347
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007


  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Drug utilization
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychotropic drugs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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