Antidepressants, the most widely prescribed drugs for depression may actually be prescribed for many more illnesses apart from just depression, finds a new study.
A decade long study examined the prescriptions of about 185 Canadian doctors using electronic medical records. The study was published in the journal JAMA
‘Doctors have prescribed antidepressants for several indications that were off-label for all antidepressants, including a migraine, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and digestive system disorders.’
Researchers from the McGill University found that of 101,759 prescriptions written, 55.2% were for depressive disorders, 18.5% were for anxiety disorders, 10% were for pain and 4% were for panic disorders.
Antidepressants are being prescribed for other disorders like insomnia, migraine, pain and panic disorders. Therefore, these have contributed to the increase in prescription of antidepressants.
FDA has not approved the use of antidepressants for any other condition than depression. Therefore, the study highlights the need to evaluate the evidence supporting off-label antidepressant use.