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Utilization of antidepressants in Taiwan: a nationwide population-based survey from 2000 to 2009

Authors

  • Chi-Shin Wu,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, New Taipei City, Taiwan
    2. College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
    3. Department of Psychiatry, National Taiwan University Hospital and College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • Wen-Yi Shau,

    1. Division of Health Technology Assessment, Center for Drug Evaluation, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • Hung-Yu Chan,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, National Taiwan University Hospital and College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
    2. Department of General Psychiatry, Taoyuan Mental Hospital, Taoyuan County, Taiwan
    3. Department of Psychology, Chung Yuan Christian University, Chung-Li, Taiwan
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  • Yen-Chieh Lee,

    1. College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
    2. Department of Family Medicine, Cathay General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • Yun-Ju Lai,

    1. Department of Family Medicine, Cardinal Tien Hospital, New Taipei City, Taiwan
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  • Mei-Shu Lai

    Corresponding author
    • College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
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M-S. Lai, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, 17 Xu-Zhou Road, Taipei, Taiwan 10020. E-mail: mslai@ntu.edu.tw

ABSTRACT

Objective

This study examined trends in antidepressant utilization in Taiwan between 2000 and 2009.

Methods

We collected data from the National Health Insurance Research Database of all incident antidepressant use. We described the incidence, prevalence, and therapeutic indications of antidepressant use. We tested the trends by using logistic regression analyses with adjustment for age and sex.

Results

Overall, the prevalence of antidepressant use per 1000 persons increased from 32.1 in 2000 to 46.3 in 2009; however, the incidence per 1000 persons declined from 20.8 in 2000 to 16.5 in 2009. For antidepressant classes, the prescriptions of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and other new agents increased during the study periods; however, the use of tricyclic antidepressants, trazodone, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors declined. For therapeutic indications, we found increasing trends of antidepressant use for sleep and adjustment disorders; however, the rates of antidepressant use for mood disorder, anxiety disorders, and non-psychiatric conditions decreased.

Conclusions

Regarding the new use of antidepressants in Taiwan between 2000 and 2009, we found that the decreased incidence of antidepressant use might be attributed mainly to the decreased use of tricyclic antidepressants and monoamine oxidase inhibitors. Decreased use among middle-aged and older persons and fewer antidepressant prescriptions for non-psychiatric conditions were also noted. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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