Friday, August 12, 2011

Rise in Antidepressant Prescriptions for Undiagnosed Patients

Nonpsychiatric providers are prescribing antidepressant medications in increasing numbers for patients who have not been diagnosed with a mental illness, finds news research published in the August Health Affairs. This, according to the study’s authors, has contributed to antidepressants becoming the third most commonly prescribed class of medications in the U.S. today.

Researchers Ramin Mojtabai, M.D. Ph.D. of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Mark Olfson, M.D., M.P.H. of Columbia University employed data from the 1996–2007 National Ambulatory Medical Care Surveys to review a sample of office-based physician visits made during a one-week period by patients over 18 years of age. They reported an increase from 59.5 percent to 72.7 percent in the number of visits during which individuals were prescribed antidepressants without receiving a concurrent psychiatric diagnosis.

Read more about questionable prescribing practices in Psychiatric News at 

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