Indications for and outcome of antidepressant medication in a general population: a prescription database and medical record study, in Jämtland county, Sweden, 1995

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2003 Dec;108(6):427-31. doi: 10.1046/j.0001-690x.2003.00166.x.


Objective: To examine the indications for prescribing antidepressants and the clinical outcome when they are prescribed for the treatment of depression, and compare tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in these respects.

Method: A naturalistic study of a prospective prescription monitoring database and medical records.

Results: Depression was the indication for 23% of the tricyclic treatments and for 82% of the SSRI treatments. A successful treatment of the depression was found in 20% of the TCA cases and 41% of the SSRI cases (NS).

Conclusion: This study provides evidence that the main use of SSRIs in 1995 is the treatment of depression. The study implies that SSRIs have a more favourable outcome in "real life" than TCAs.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / therapeutic use*
  • Database Management Systems
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Records
  • Middle Aged
  • Population
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors