Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Study: Anti-Depressant Use Doubled in America

USA Today reported that, according to a study "of nearly 50,000 children and adults," published in the August issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, "about 10 percent of Americans -- or 27 million people -- were taking antidepressants in 2005, the last year for which data were available at the time the study was written. That's about twice the number in 1996." Notably, "the majority weren't being treated for depression. Half of those taking antidepressants used them for back pain, nerve pain, fatigue, sleep difficulties, or other problems," the study found.

Bloomberg News reported that researchers from Columbia University said that the "surge in antidepressant use propelled that class of treatments to become the top-selling US medicines in 2005, surpassing blood-pressure prescriptions," findings which "highlight the need for doctors who aren't psychiatrists and who prescribe these medicines to be trained to diagnose and manage depression so patients get the most effective treatment."

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