Survey Data on Antidepressant Drug Use Released

October 21, 2011
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Posted in Healthcare Policy & The MediaKnowledge & MedicinePharma & DevicesScience & Research

Posted in Healthcare Policy & The MediaKnowledge & MedicinePharma & DevicesScience & Research

With the continued destigmatization of some forms of mental illness in the community (namely, the diagnoses of depression and anxiety), it comes as no surprise that we are more willing than ever to discuss treatment and prevention more openly. Oh, and it also doesn’t hurt that — within the general population at any given time — 10 percent of Americans are taking an antidepressant.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the rate of antidepressant use has skyrocketed by a factor of 4X over the past 25 years. Females lead the pack in all age demos save for the youngest — ages 12-17. Interestingly, income status was not a predictor of use, the agency cites; although, slightly more than 1 in 12 persons taking the drugs is Caucasian. Most disturbingly, though, is the apparent lack of care access or followup once these drugs are prescribed: just under a third of patients have seen a mental health professional (or primary care physician — assuming the drugs are possibly given for off-label uses) within the previous 12 months. Excellent survey data here.

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