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Psychotropic medication use in French children and adolescents

Abstract : OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to describe the patterns of psychotropic drug use in a large representative population of children and adolescents drawn from the French National Health Insurance databank. METHODS: Data were drawn from a sample of 1% of the beneficiaries of the French national health insurance, selecting those 0-17 years old in 2010 (n=128,298). In addition to age and gender, data included the identification number of each drug allowing a European Pharmaceutical Marketing Research Association (EphMRA) classification, as well as the type of the prescriber. RESULTS: Overall, 2.5% of children and adolescents had been prescribed psychotropic medication. A majority were prescribed anxiolytics (1.9%), followed by antidepressants (0.3%), antipsychotics (0.3%), and stimulants (0.2%). Between the ages of 15 and 17, 6.1% of girls were prescribed anxiolytics and 1.1% were prescribed antidepressants. For boys, the anxiolytics remained the most prescribed psychotropic medication; however, between the ages of 11 and 14, and between the ages of 15 and 17 they received more antipsychotics (0.7% and 0.8%) and between the ages of 6 and 10, and between the ages of 11 and 14 (0.7% and 0.6%), they were prescribed more stimulants than were girls. Among those who received a prescription, a majority of youth (84.6%) received only one class of drugs, and general practitioners were found to be prescribing most of these prescriptions (81.7%). CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of psychotropic drug use in France is similar to that of the Netherlands and much lower than what is observed in the United States. Stimulants are less frequently prescribed in France than in other European countries, but anxiolytics are prescribed considerably more in France than in any other country.
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Contributor : Laurent Jonchère <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 3:51:32 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, June 3, 2021 - 2:50:04 PM



Viviane Kovess, Sabine Choppin, Fei Gao, Mathilde Pivette, Mathilde Husky, et al.. Psychotropic medication use in French children and adolescents. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, Mary Ann Liebert, 2015, 25 (2), pp.168--175. ⟨10.1089/cap.2014.0058⟩. ⟨hal-01147097⟩



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