The number of Kiwis given antidepressants continues to increase, but the researchers admit there is no evidence to show they improve mental health or reduce suicide.
An Otago University study published at New Zealand Medical Journal on Friday examined prescription trends for antidepressants between 2008 and 2015.
The highest group of antidepressant users found was European women, especially those aged 65 years and above, which surprised Professor Roger Mulder, one of the principal researchers.
"I think it's because they have more difficulty, but if you look at the epidemiology of depression, they may not be the group most likely to experience severe melancholic depression, that is when you say antidepressants should be used.
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"What we seem to be doing is prescribing more and more, especially for white women, and we have no evidence that it results in a significant reduction in the level of community difficulties," Mulder said.
"If there is, the level of community difficulties seems to be increasing and that obviously does not result in a decrease in suicide rates. They are roughly the same."
While the number of prescriptions increased during the study period, the rate of increase slowed, in accordance with the pattern of prescriptions in other countries of the same mind.
"The fact that the size of our community for mental health is not getting better is also unusual. Australia and Britain, the United States and Canada – there are very similar trends," Mulder said.
"This would show that giving people more antidepressants might not be the best way to manage what is happening, which no one understands because as a community we seem increasingly depressed."
Researchers have linked increases to various factors, including increased recognition of depression, changes in patient-physician attitudes and various expanded conditions treated with antidepressants.
Mulder, based on the Otago University campus in Christchurch, said that the research raises questions about how to use recipes.
Without evidence to suggest more prescription antidepressants to improve people's mental health or reduce suicide, researchers suggest changes in wisdom.
"Just giving more people more antidepressants doesn't seem to work. Antidepressants have significant side effects and we have limited evidence for long-term success," said the study.
"Maybe it's time to shift the emphasis from the care gap & # 39; to" quality gap "so that the use of antidepressants is targeted more optimally for those most likely to benefit."
This finding shows Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), which work by increasing serotonin levels in the brain, accounting for about half of all prescription antidepressants.
ANTIDEPRESSAN PRESENTATION 2008-2015
- 12.6 percent of all New Zealanders were prescribed antidepressants in 2015
- The most determined group is European women aged 65 years and over (22.8 percent)
- Prescription increases in all ethnic groups
- The biggest class of drugs prescribed is SSRIs (57 percent of all prescription antidepressants)
- Women have higher antidepressant use than men in all age groups
Source: New Zealand Medical Journal