Antidepressant use grows

The most consumed are selective inhibitors of serotonin reuptake, their use for depression and anxiety.

The use of antidepressants in Spain has tripled between 2000 and 2013 to move from 26.53 doses per thousand inhabitants per day to 79.5, according to a report by the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (Aemps). For this agency attached to the Ministry of Health, the increased use of antidepressants is due to the increased incidence of mood disorders, increased diagnosis by primary care physicians and by extension of the therapeutic indications authorized for these drugs.

Antidepressants more consumed in this time period (2000-2013) are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) used for the treatment of depressive disorders, anxiety disorders and personality disorders. The consumption of these drugs represents 70.4 percent of total consumption of antidepressants in 2013.

Other antidepressants that have increased their presence – venlafaxine are labeled as anxiolytic, which went from 1.1 in 2000 to 8.6 in 2013, or bupropion, indicated as a treatment for smoking cessation. For its part, has reduced the use of tricyclic antidepressants – used in medical treatment of mood disorders such as bipolares – went from 3.40 in 2000 to 2.90 in 2013, representing a decrease of 14.7 percent. Among this group of drugs, was used the active ingredient amitriptyline, which is also used to treat neuropathic pain.

Similar to Europe

In general, the use of antidepressants has increased in recent years in Western countries and in Spain was similar to the European average between 2000 and 2007.

Depression is a disease with great impact on the quality of life of patients, which involves high social costs. It affects about 350 million people worldwide and in its most severe form, can lead to suicide, and is responsible for approximately 1 million deaths annually.

In Spain, it is estimated that 14.4 percent of women and 6.2 percent of men may suffer from depression throughout his life.