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Study: 27 Million Americans on Antidepressants

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posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 09:17 AM

WASHINGTON — Use of antidepressant drugs in the United States doubled between 1996 and 2005, probably because of a mix of factors, researchers reported Monday.

About 6 percent of people were prescribed an antidepressant in 1996 — 13 million people. This rose to more than 10 percent or 27 million people by 2005, the researchers found.

"Significant increases in antidepressant use were evident across all sociodemographic groups examined, except African Americans," Dr. Mark Olfson of Columbia University in New York and Steven Marcus of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia wrote in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

"Not only are more U.S. residents being treated with antidepressants, but also those who are being treated are receiving more antidepressant prescriptions," they added.

More than 164 million prescriptions were written in 2008 for antidepressants, totaling $9.6 billion in U.S. sales, according to IMS Health.

Drugs that affect the brain chemical serotonin like GlaxoSmithKline's Paxil, known generically as paroxetine, and Eli Lilly and Co's Prozac, known generically as fluoxetine, are the most commonly prescribed class of antidepressant. But the study found the effect in all classes of the drugs.

Olfson and Marcus looked at the Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys done by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, involving more than 50,000 people in 1996 and 2005.

"During this period, individuals treated with antidepressants became more likely to also receive treatment with antipsychotic medications and less likely to undergo psychotherapy," they wrote.


The survey did not look at why, but the researchers made some educated guesses. It may be more socially acceptable to be diagnosed with and treated for depression, they said. The availability of new drugs may also have been a factor.

"Although there was little change in total promotional spending for antidepressants between 1999 ($0.98 billion) and 2005 ($1.02 billion), there was a marked increase in the percentage of this spending that was devoted to direct-to consumer advertising, from 3.3 percent ($32 million) to 12 percent ($122.00 million)," they added.

Dr. Eric Caine of the University of Rochester in New York said he was concerned by the findings. "Antidepressants are only moderately effective on population level," he said in a telephone interview.

Caine, who was not involved in the research, noted that several studies show therapy is as effective as, if not more effective than, drug use alone.

"There are no data to say that the population is healthier. Indeed, the suicide rate in the middle years of life has been climbing," he said.

Olfson and Marcus said out-of-pocket costs for psychotherapy and lower insurance coverage for such visits may have driven patients away from seeing therapists in favor of an easy-to-prescribe pill.

The rise in antidepressant prescriptions also is seen despite a series of public health warnings on use of antidepressant drugs beginning in 2003 after clinical trials showed they increased the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in children and teens.

In February 2005, the Food and Drug Administration added its strongest warning, a so-called black box, on the use of all antidepressants in children and teens.


This is a major reason why people are unhappy! We need everything from money, sex, television, anti-depresants, drugs, ect. to make us happy! Whatever happened to the good days of just going outside, having a hobby, volunteering, or spending time with friends and family to be happy?

posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 10:09 AM
I think I would be clincally depressed if I had to live in USA as well.

Originally posted by gatorboi117
Whatever happened to the good days of just going outside, having a hobby, volunteering, or spending time with friends and family to be happy?

Didn't they put in the patriot act to stop these simple enjoyments?

[edit on 4-8-2009 by acrux]

[edit on 4-8-2009 by acrux]

posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 10:16 AM
I have tried the antidepressant route and found that it just clouded my mind (it did take away some anxiety and depression) but made things worse on the homefront, when I couldn't remember what I did and didn't do that day.

I got myself off them with few side effects that lasted a few weeks, but I do still over-analyize things in my head, but at least I can remember what I talked to my hubby about and remember what I did that day.

I am still working through the issues, but not taking the pills has made me better off to start on my road out of depression....

There are too many people being handed these pills just to "stop the thought process".


posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 10:40 PM
Their is another thread that has antidepressant theme already.

posted on Aug, 5 2009 @ 10:07 PM
What happened to the good old days you ask? Well, keeping up with the Joneses, designer clothes, Atari, Nintendo, Sega, listening to what the television broadcasts-gloom and doom, murder and school shootings, getting older and losing family and friends, mortgage foreclosures and losing money in the stock market because of GM. Then, there is single parent families where that parent may have to work and run the household leaving little time for quality time with their family.

I use Paxil and another medicine and I think they don't really do anything until I don't take them for a few days, then I don't care if I wake up and sleep for 3 to 5 days at a time, I don't want anyone to phone me or knock on my door, I won't answer. Depressed.

I don't think it is a good idea to give children and teens antidepressants due to hormones irregularities (?? does that make sense??)

Anyways, I take antidepressants - I seem to feel a little bit better. They don't make me feel like an olympian, but I would rather have them than not.

posted on Aug, 5 2009 @ 10:46 PM
I guess the drug companies are rolling in the dough now! Doctors hand this stuff out like it was candy. My friend told me he went to the dr a few months ago, he had high blood pressure, he told the doc he was a little stressed etc,. The doctor gave him a prescription for antidepressants!!
What is happening is that drug companies are giving doctors bonuses, trips, etc. to push thes drugs!!! If this doesnt alarm people then I dont know what will. What will the numbers be in 10 years? 80 million on antidepressants?

posted on Aug, 7 2009 @ 03:08 PM
I don't doubt what you are saying about the perks the companies hand out to doctors to push their particular drug. However, doctors don't have to hand out antidepressants, if they are a decent doctor they won't. I lay the blame on the prescriber more than the company.

posted on Aug, 7 2009 @ 03:17 PM
Please tell me............

If you are depressed and don't want to be; what's wrong with taking an antidepresseant so you can go to work, be productive and interact with those you love.

Whatever happened to the good days of just going outside, having a hobby, volunteering, or spending time with friends and family to be happy?

Nothing, but when you are clinically depressed, all the above mentioned are not possible.

Simplistic answers to a very complex disease don't help. Leave treatment to the qualified professionals please.

posted on Aug, 7 2009 @ 07:48 PM
Anti depressants have helped me as well. It is all in trial and error, which medicine at which dose is right for you. Not all people need antidpressants, some do and there is nothing wrong with that. If you find it is too strong and affecting you in a negative way, decrease the dose or try something else.

posted on Aug, 7 2009 @ 07:52 PM
Well this is no surprise.

Turned on the news lately?

posted on Aug, 7 2009 @ 08:35 PM

the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at 2.4 billion drugs prescribed in visits to doctors and hospitals in 2005. Of those, 118 million were for antidepressants.

High blood pressure drugs were the next most-common with 113 million prescriptions.

So if the figure of 27 million users is correct, does that mean that they each have 4.2 different prescriptions? (113/27)

Or are the numbers skewed to make it seem less worrisome?
is it 27 million users or 113 million (or more)?

27 seems like a drop in the bucket, but if it's 113 or more, then that's 1/3 of the population.

posted on Aug, 9 2009 @ 02:22 AM
You have to look at the way the CDC gets its information. Who is abstracting this info for the CDC? Is it hospitals, clinic personnel...I know it isn't doctors. Is the pharmaceutical company giving them the data. I would be interested to know. I feel quite sure the results are skewed. The CDC gets much infection control statistics from hospitals. The infection control person audits patient charts and sends monthly reports to the CDC who in a couple of years have a report. I know that a lot of infections are not counted, especially hospital aquired infections, they get swept under the carpet. I look at statistics and numbers with a grain of salt. Don't believe everything you see.

I am not trying to implicate that your thread isn't important, a lot of people are concerned about pill takers, just thought I would give my two cents from experience.

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