With a new review from the University of Southampton urging clinicians to be mindful of the link between prescribed antidepressants and increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, it may be time to persuade psychiatry to seek a ‘check up from the neck up’.
Let me begin by stating that I do not wish to overplay the relevance of this latest study (people taking antidepressant medication often put on weight thereby increasing risk of developing diabetes while antidepressants themselves may yet be shown to be interfering with blood glucose control), but given our increasing over-reliance on antidepressants – 46.7 million scripts for antidepressants were written in the UK in 2011 – the report’s key findings merit careful consideration.
In the US, the increase in antidepressant use is startling. 1 in 10 Americans are now prescribed antidepressant medication. This number leaps to 1 in 4 among women in their 40’s and 50’s.
Such an increase is not a new phenomenon, albeit it’s growth may now be considered exponential. A study of 233,144 adult patient records who made doctor appointments between 1996 and 2007 discovered that the percentage of prescriptions written by non-psychiatrists had more than doubled over the twelve year period, and included close to ten thousand prescriptions for antidepressants given to patients without any diagnosis of depression being present. Read More