The Sydney Morning Herald
By Rachel Browne
March 21, 2010
ANTIDEPRESSANT use in Australia has soared by almost 40 per cent over the past six years, with more than 16 million prescriptions issued.
The spike has raised concerns among health authorities that a large proportion of people prescribed antidepressant medication may not be taking it properly.
According to the Department of Health, 16,324,759 prescriptions for antidepressants were issued under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme or the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in 2008-09. In the 2007-08 financial year, there were 15,586,405 prescriptions for antidepressants, which was up from 11,874,469 in 2002-03.
Figures for the first four months of the current financial year show 1,416,558 prescriptions were issued each month, up from 1,360,397 per month in the 2008-09 financial year.