Depression affects about 20 percent of young people across the nation, but a recent study found that one in five children doesn't take his or her prescribed antidepressants for the recommended six months to prevent relapse. In an examination of three years of Ohio's Medicaid data, a study led by researchers at Ohio State University found that 53 percent of young people stopped taking the medications within three months and that one-third of them had no follow-up visit with their doctor.
"Follow-up is really critical from a number of perspectives, not only to monitor if the med is the right medication, but to monitor suicide symptoms, particularly with major depression," said Cynthia Fontanella, a study co-author and assistant professor in the College of Social Work and Department of Psychiatry at Ohio State. "It's also important to educate the children and family about follow-up and depression."
Researchers examined 1,650 children ages 5 to 17 who had new episodes of depression from January 2005 to December 2007. They found that 5- to 12-year-old children are more likely to take antidepressants as prescribed for the six months than those13 to 17 years old.
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