- The Raw Story -
Antidepressants became the third most commonly prescribed class of medications in the United States thanks in part to non-psychiatrist providers prescribing the drugs to individuals without any psychiatric diagnosis, according to a new study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
"We’ve seen a marked increase in antidepressant use among individuals with no psychiatric diagnosis. Nearly four out of every five antidepressant prescriptions are written by non-psychiatrist providers," said Ramin Mojtabai, MD, PhD, MPH. He was lead author of the study and an associate professor with the Bloomberg School’s Department of Mental Health.
"Between 1996 and 2007, the number of visits where individuals were prescribed antidepressants with no psychiatric diagnoses increased from 59.5 percent to 72.7 percent and the share of providers who prescribed antidepressants without a concurrent psychiatric diagnosis increased from 30 percent of all non-psychiatrist physicians in 1996 to 55.4 percent in 2007."
The results are featured in the August 2011 issue of Health Affairs.
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