Prescribing of Anti-Depressants in the U.S. Increased 400 Percent

The rate of anti-depressant medication use in the United States has increased nearly 400 percent in just a few short years, according to a survey published in More magazine.

According to this article, it seems that women are prescribed anti-depressant drugs for a variety of conditions, some of which are being used “off-label.” Off-label means the drug is being used for purposes other than what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved. In other words, a women complaining of weight gain should not be prescribed anti-depressants for weight loss since the drug was not approved for that purpose.

The report states that about one in four women aged 40-49 is said to suffer from depression. For those who truly need the anti-depressants, the benefits outweigh the risks. But that is not always the case.

Some questions are raised regarding whether the drug industry is benefitting from the increase in anti-depressant prescriptions being written. There are a lot of people suffering from conditions that anti-depressants would not be particularly effective in treating.  In many cases, the risks outweigh the benefits.

Reports say that many patients who complain of stress or relationship issues are being prescribed anti-depressants by their primary care physicians, rather than given other alternatives, or being made aware of the potential drug risks.

Another part of this issue is financial. It was mentioned that insurance companies reimburse at a higher rate when compared to therapy and that insurance companies would prefer paying for generic prescriptions as opposed to paying for ongoing psychotherapy sessions.

It is important to realize that most drugs have side effects and sometimes the side effects are worse than the condition for which they were prescribed in the first place.

For more information, feel free to contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).

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