Antidepressant Use in a 3- to 12-Year Follow-up of Anxious Youth: Results from the CAMELS Trial

Elana R. Kagan, Hannah E. Frank, Lesley A. Norris, Sophie A. Palitz, Erika A. Chiappini, Mark J. Knepley, Margaret E. Crane, Katherine E. Phillips, Golda S. Ginsburg, Courtney Keeton, Anne Marie Albano, John Piacentini, Tara Peris, Scott Compton, Dara Sakolsky, Boris Birmaher, Philip C. Kendall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current study explored whether patient characteristics predicted patterns of antidepressant use (i.e., never used, single episode of use, or two or more episodes) in a naturalistic follow-up. Participants in the child/adolescent multimodal (CAMS) extended long-term study. (n = 318) indicated medication use over the course of eight follow-up visits, 3–12 years after receiving treatment in CAMS. 40.6% of participants reported never using an antidepressant during follow-up, 41.4% reported a single episode of antidepressant use, and 18.0% reported multiple episodes of antidepressant use. Greater baseline anxiety severity marginally predicted a single episode of antidepressant use; baseline depression severity predicted multiple episodes of use. Reasons for discontinuing antidepressants included perceived ineffectiveness (31.8%), side effects (25.5%), and improvement in symptoms (18.5%). Exploratory analyses examined predictors of medication use. Findings suggest that antidepressant use is common among anxious youth, as is discontinuation of antidepressant use. Clinical implications and future directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-48
Number of pages8
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Antidepressant
  • Anxiety
  • Longitudinal
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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