Pharmacotherapy for major depression in children and adolescents

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2005 Jun;29(5):819-26. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2005.03.005.


Major depression is a serious illness in children which adversely effects their social, academic, and emotional development. It is essential to identify safe and effective medication for the treatment of this disorder in youths. Only some selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (citalopram, fluoxetine, sertraline) have demonstrated superiority to placebo on primary outcome measures in acute controlled treatment trials. This article will review acute efficacy studies as well as long-term studies of antidepressants for the treatment of childhood depression. Treatment recommendations are discussed and the issue of suicidality and antidepressants are addressed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Long-Term Care
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors