THE number of children aged six and under being prescribed anti-depressants has soared by almost 50 per cent since the federal government pledged to investigate the issue, new figures show.
Federal health department data reveals prescribing rates of the controversial drugs have risen from 852 in 2007-08 to 1264 in 2009-10.
But despite Health Minister Nicola Roxon ordering an investigation three years ago, a Freedom of Information request shows the government held just two meetings.
Five deaths have also been linked to anti-depressants in children aged 10 to 19 since 2009, Therapeutic Goods Administration figures show. In children aged nine and under, 89 adverse reactions were linked to anti-depressants over the same period.