Fluoxetine in child and adolescent depression: Acute and maintenance treatment

Graham J. Emslie, A. John Rush, Warren A. Weinberg, Robert A. Kowatch, Tom Carmody, Taryn L. Mayes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


The objective was to present naturalistic 1-year follow-up information of 96 child and adolescent outpatients with major depressive disorder who had been randomized in an 8-week double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of fluoxetine. Subjects were children and adolescents, ages 8-18 years, who were entered in a randomized clinical trial of fluoxetine. Following the acute treatment trial, treatment was not controlled. At 6 months and 1 year, the subjects and parents were interviewed using the Kiddie Longitudinal Interval Follow-up Evaluation (K-LIFE) for course of depression. Eighty-seven of the 96 subjects were followed for 1 year. Of these, 74 (85%) recovered from the depressive episode during that time (47 on fluoxetine, 22 on no medication, and 5 on other antidepressants or lithium). Twenty-nine of the subjects (39%) who recovered had a recurrence of depression during the 1 year follow-up, with 55% of these occurring within 6 months. Results of this study are similar to adult studies, with respect to response and recovery of depressive episodes. Most patients (85%) recover from the episode within 1 year, but approximately 40% have a recurrence within 12 months, which is a higher recurrence rate than in adults. Recovery was associated with younger age, lower severity of depressive symptoms, higher family functioning, and fewer comorbid diagnoses. Recurrence, which occurs both on and off medication, was difficult to predict, as there was little clinical data associated with recurrence in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-39
Number of pages8
JournalDepression and anxiety
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998


  • Adolescents
  • Children
  • Depression
  • Fluoxetine
  • Recovery
  • Recurrence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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