Purpose: This study proposes to complete declarative studies by describing the prescriptions of anxiolytics, hypnotics, and antidepressants dispensed to adolescents in a French region in 2002.
Methods: This cross-sectional study analyzes all the hypnotic, anxiolytic, and antidepressant prescriptions (ATC codes beginning with N05B, N05C, and N06A, respectively) sent by adolescents (aged 13-17 years) to the French Health Insurance system of the study region for reimbursement during one year (2002). It was performed in a southern France area with 120,908 adolescents covered by this insurance scheme. Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) recorded in the Pharmacovigilance database were also studied.
Results: Three thousand two hundred and eighty-six adolescents (2.7% of adolescent population) had at least one prescription of the studied drugs. This prevalence increased with age and female sex, leading to a maximum of 6.3% for the 17-year-old girls. Two thousand four hundred and thirty-one of adolescents were dispensed anxiolytics, 935 antidepressants, and 548 hypnotics. The most dispensed drugs were zolpidem, zopiclone, and niaprazine for hypnotics; hydroxyzine, etifoxine, and bromazepam for anxiolytics; and paroxetine, sertraline, and fluoxetine for antidepressants. Zolpidem, hydroxyzine, and paroxetine accounted, respectively, for 82.9%, 57.1%, and 59.8% of the prescriptions. 75.5% of hypnotics users had only one prescription, 77.4% for anxiolytics, and 57.4% for antidepressants. Three ADRs were reported.
Conclusions: This study confirms the large use of psychotropics in French adolescents and the influence of age and sex. Also, the results underline treatment for most adolescents is short, which may be beneficial for hypnotics and anxiolytics but not for antidepressants.
Copyright (c) 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.