Study Found Doctors Prescribe Antidepressants Not Just for Depression; Is it Dangerous?


A Canadian study found that depression makes up of about 55 percent of antidepressant prescription by doctors in a 10-year study. That's because doctors have been prescribing the drugs to those with anxiety, chronic pain, insomnia, migraine, OCD and other conditions.

Prescribing Antidepressants for Conditions Other than Depression

The researchers from Montreal's McGill University looked into how much antidepressants are prescribed to patients with actual depression. Their findings show that in two out of every antidepressant prescription, patients do not have depression and or just have conditions that are barely linked to it, CBS News reported.

While patients with panic disorders and anxiety orders are prescribed with antidepressants, doctors also used it for off-label indications. This means that conditions including ADHD, migraine, menopausal symptoms were also prescribed with the drug, Los Angeles Times wrote.

The results of the study were published in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Is it Safe or Dangerous?

The study authors wrote that they found the prescription of antidepressants for conditions other than depression as a concern, Science Daily noted. They believe that further study and investigation are needed to determine how safe and effective the drug is used for off-label indications.

Dr. Norman Sussman of the NYU Langone Medical Center said that antidepressants can be used for conditions other than depression. He told CBS News that certain antidepressants are more effective at treating insomnia as other drugs can be addictive.

As for specific cases of pain management, antidepressants have been used to treat these. Dr. Sussman explained that getting indications for antidepressants can be expensive so that is why most drugs do not have the FDA's approval. However, he also agrees that more research should be conducted to determine side effects of using antidepressants for off-label uses.

Do you think antidepressants should be used for conditions other than depression? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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