National patterns of commonly prescribed psychotropic medications to young people

Ryan S. Sultan*, Christoph U. Correll, Michael Schoenbaum, Marrisa King, John Timothy Walkup, Mark Olfson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To describe national annual prescribing patterns of stimulant, antidepressant, and antipsychotic medications to young people. Methods: Prescriptions for three commonly prescribed psychotropic classes (stimulants, antidepressants, and antipsychotics) to young people aged 3-24 years were analyzed from the IMS LifeLink LRx National Longitudinal Prescription database (n = 6,351,482). Denominators were adjusted to generalize estimates to the U.S. population. Comparisons are presented of percentages filling ≥1 prescription of each medication class during the study year stratified by patient sex, age, and prescriber specialty. Results: The total annual percentage of prescriptions filled by youth for any of the three medication classes was by age 3-5 years (0.8%), 6-12 years (5.4%), 13-18 years (7.7%), and 19-24 years (6.0%). Stimulant use was highest for older children (age 11 = 5.7%). Antidepressant use tended to increase with age and was highest for young adults (age 24 = 4.8%). Annual antipsychotic prescription percentages were lower than antidepressant or stimulant percentages for all age groups, with a peak in adolescence (age 16 = 1.3%). Annual stimulant and antipsychotic percentages for males were higher than corresponding percentages for females, but converged for young adults. Psychiatrists and child psychiatrists accounted for most of the prescriptions of antidepressants (22.2%-53.2%) and antipsychotics (51.7%-70%), but fewer of the stimulant prescriptions (30.4%-36.2%). Conclusions: The age and sex distribution of stimulants and antidepressants among young people is broadly consistent with known epidemiologic patterns of their established indications for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, and depression. The pattern of antipsychotics may reflect the heterogeneity of disorders and conditions treated with this medication class.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-165
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

Fingerprint

Prescriptions
Antidepressive Agents
Antipsychotic Agents
Psychiatry
Young Adult
Sex Distribution
Age Distribution
Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity
Anxiety
Age Groups
Databases
Depression
Population

Keywords

  • ADHD
  • antidepressant
  • antipsychotic
  • psychopharmacoepidemiology
  • psychopharmacology
  • stimulant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

Cite this

Sultan, Ryan S. ; Correll, Christoph U. ; Schoenbaum, Michael ; King, Marrisa ; Walkup, John Timothy ; Olfson, Mark. / National patterns of commonly prescribed psychotropic medications to young people. In: Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. 2018 ; Vol. 28, No. 3. pp. 158-165.
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abstract = "Objective: To describe national annual prescribing patterns of stimulant, antidepressant, and antipsychotic medications to young people. Methods: Prescriptions for three commonly prescribed psychotropic classes (stimulants, antidepressants, and antipsychotics) to young people aged 3-24 years were analyzed from the IMS LifeLink LRx National Longitudinal Prescription database (n = 6,351,482). Denominators were adjusted to generalize estimates to the U.S. population. Comparisons are presented of percentages filling ≥1 prescription of each medication class during the study year stratified by patient sex, age, and prescriber specialty. Results: The total annual percentage of prescriptions filled by youth for any of the three medication classes was by age 3-5 years (0.8{\%}), 6-12 years (5.4{\%}), 13-18 years (7.7{\%}), and 19-24 years (6.0{\%}). Stimulant use was highest for older children (age 11 = 5.7{\%}). Antidepressant use tended to increase with age and was highest for young adults (age 24 = 4.8{\%}). Annual antipsychotic prescription percentages were lower than antidepressant or stimulant percentages for all age groups, with a peak in adolescence (age 16 = 1.3{\%}). Annual stimulant and antipsychotic percentages for males were higher than corresponding percentages for females, but converged for young adults. Psychiatrists and child psychiatrists accounted for most of the prescriptions of antidepressants (22.2{\%}-53.2{\%}) and antipsychotics (51.7{\%}-70{\%}), but fewer of the stimulant prescriptions (30.4{\%}-36.2{\%}). Conclusions: The age and sex distribution of stimulants and antidepressants among young people is broadly consistent with known epidemiologic patterns of their established indications for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, and depression. The pattern of antipsychotics may reflect the heterogeneity of disorders and conditions treated with this medication class.",
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National patterns of commonly prescribed psychotropic medications to young people. / Sultan, Ryan S.; Correll, Christoph U.; Schoenbaum, Michael; King, Marrisa; Walkup, John Timothy; Olfson, Mark.

In: Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, Vol. 28, No. 3, 01.04.2018, p. 158-165.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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