Americans Pop Happy Pills in Record Numbers

Antidepressants are most-prescribed drug in the US
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2007 6:28 PM CDT

Antidepressants are America's most prescribed drugs, according to a new CDC report, clocking in more scripts than meds for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or asthma. Prescriptions for antidepressants rose 48% between 1995 and 2002, accounting for 118 million of the 2.4 billion drugs prescribed in 2005.

Some doctors attribute the rise to a spike in needed treatment: 25% of adults and 8% of adolescents will have a major depressive episode sometime in their lives. But others say it's simply good marketing—and point to studies showing that people who ask for antidepressants are more likely to get one than those that don't. "It's hard to believe that number of people are depressed," says one doctor. (More antidepressant stories.)

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