Are Doctors Overprescribing Antidepressants?

American Doctors are Overprescribing Antidepressants

It seems that every day, more and more doctors are prescribing antidepressants to combat depression. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, antidepressants are the most commonly prescribed medication in the country. However, it seems that antidepressants are not being prescribed for just depression. According to a 10-year study published in 2015 by JAMA, 50% of patients prescribed antidepressants were taking them for a condition other than depression. Doctors had prescribed popular medications such as Prozac, Zoloft, and Effexor to treat issues such as bulimia, insomnia, and even pain symptoms. Antidepressants, while beneficial to some people, have been found to cause symptoms of increased depression and suicidal thoughts. With half of patients using this medication that is supposed to treat a disorder they do not even have, it’s clear that there’s a growing trend in prescribing antidepressants unnecessarily.

The study also found that doctors prescribed antidepressants off-label, suggesting that the medication allegedly could treat other issues such as migraines, but there is no solid scientific evidence to back up these claims. The research team tried to understand why doctors would prescribe these medications so easily to treat other medical problems. The team suspects, however, that doctors prescribed the medication as a last-resort measure. It may be that patients, desperate for relief from their symptoms, are prescribed antidepressants to offer some small amount of relief. However, because patients are taking a medication that has not been proven to treat their issues, these patients are exposing themselves to the negative side effects of antidepressants.

This trend of doctors overprescribing antidepressants to their patients can also be detrimental to the patient’s recovery. While antidepressant use is one way to treat depression, it is not necessarily the best or only way. Further, scientists still don’t fully understand how antidepressants help ease depression, so seeking alternative treatments may be a sound option for patients wanting to better their mental mindset. Patients with depression can also use cognitive behavioral therapy to help treat depression. Due to the over-prescription of antidepressants, patients suffering from depression may initially believe that medication is the only way to get better. This is not the case the above study found and further encouraged patients to seek out different forms of therapy outside of medication to help with their treatment.

If you have been severely injured from the side effects of Effexor, Lexapro, or other antidepressants, reach out to an experienced lawyer today. Our legal team will look over your case and determine how best to assist you.

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