Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on antidepressant and antipsychotic use among children and adolescents

A population-based study

The COVID-19 pandemic heightened rates of depression, anxiety, and behavioral issues in children and youth. What remains less understood is how the pandemic influenced the use of antidepressants and antipsychotics in this demographic. There’s a possibility that these medications served as temporary solutions during disruptions to in-person care and school-based services. Notably, both antipsychotics and antidepressants have been associated with harm in children and youth.

This study investigated the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the dispensing of antidepressants and antipsychotics among children and youth (ages 18 and under) in Ontario, Canada from 2014 to 2022.

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