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.