To determine the prevalence and possible increase of long-term use of antidepressants over recent years, Authors analyzed routine general practice care data in a large cohort of patients (n = 156,620) in and around Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Results highlighted a substantial prevalence of long-term use of antidepressants. In addition, such use appears to be increasing: 30.3% of use was long-term over the period 1995-2005 compared to 43.7% for the period 2005-2015. Higher age, a registered diagnosis of anxiety or depression, and the use of SSRIs or SNRIs were associated with long-term use of antidepressant drugs. Furthermore, specific antidepressants were differentially associated with long-term use.
Authors concluded that long-term antidepressant use is substantial and appears to be on the rise. Awareness of this phenomenon should be increased, such use should be prevented when possible, and reasons for long-term use need to be examined.
Source: Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics
Full bibliographic information:
Long-Term and Short-Term Antidepressant Use in General Practice: Data from a Large Cohort in the Netherlands. Psychother Psychosom 2017;86:362-369