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. 2010 Mar;7(1):9-15.

Evolution of the Prevalence and Incidence of Consumption of Antidepressants in a Spanish Region (2002-2007)

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Evolution of the Prevalence and Incidence of Consumption of Antidepressants in a Spanish Region (2002-2007)

Catalina Serna et al. Ment Health Fam Med. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Background The treatment of depressive disorders involves the administration of drugs of proven efficacy at the correct doses and for specific periods of time, in conjunction with psychotherapeutic support.Aim To assess the evolution of the consumption of antidepressants in the Health Region of Lleida (Spain).Method A retrospective cohort study of the antidepressant medication prescribed via the Spanish National Health System in the Health Region of Lleida between 2002 and 2007. The variables recorded in the study were age, sex, number of patients in antidepressant treatment in the Health Region of Lleida, length of treatment and type of drug. The prevalence of the population of the health region who were receiving antidepressant drugs and the incidence for each particular year was calculated.Results The mean prevalence of patients in treatment with antidepressant drugs was 8.5% (5% in men and 12.1% in women). The highest prevalence was observed in the higher age groups. By therapeutic groups, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) were the most frequently prescribed, five times more than the next group, tricyclics/heterocyclics. The follow-up assessment of the medication prescribed showed that one out of every four patients did not continue treatment after the first month, and 38.4% did not continue after three months. Very few were treated for more than six months.Conclusion This study stresses the high rate of antidepressant treatment in the older women's group. One of every four treatments initiated did not last more than one month. Over the six-year period, 16 506 patients dropped out of treatment.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Evolution of the number of patients receiving antidepressant treatment by sex, 2002 to 2007
Figure 2
Figure 2
Drug prescription by numbers of patients – evolution from 2002 to 2007
Figure 3
Figure 3
Number of patients receiving treatment according to month of follow‐up (2002–2007)

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