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Medicina is published by MDPI from Volume 54 Issue 1 (2018). Articles in this Issue were published by another publisher in Open Access under a CC-BY (or CC-BY-NC-ND) licence. Articles are hosted by MDPI on mdpi.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Lithuanian Medical Association, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, and Vilnius University.
Open AccessArticle

Analysis of antidepressant prescribing tendencies in Lithuania in 2003–2004

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Department of Analytical and Toxicological Chemistry
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Department of Theoretical and Clinical Pharmacology, Kaunas University of Medicine
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Marketing Authorization Division, State Medicines Control Agency of Lithuania
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Department of Psychiatry, Medical Faculty, Vilnius University
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Department of Preventive Medicine, Kaunas University of Medicine, Lithuania
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Medicina 2007, 43(5), 412; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina43050050
Received: 23 August 2006 / Accepted: 30 March 2007 / Published: 4 April 2007
Depression is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide, affecting 121 million people in whole world. In many developed countries, the number of prescriptions for antidepressants increased steeply during the 1990s. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the antidepressant prescribing patterns in all regions of Lithuania during 2003–2004, to analyze the use within different antidepressant groups, and to examine trends in age- and gender-specific antidepressant use. Antidepressants were classified into three groups according to Anatomic Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) Classification specifying the defined daily doses. The results of our study show an increase in the use of reimbursed antidepressants except tricyclic in 2004 when compared to 2003. Increase in the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and other nontricyclic antidepressants is probably related to their better tolerability, improved risk-benefit ratio, and less toxicity in overdose. There was no increase in the percentage of consumed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in elderly patients when compared with younger ones, despite elderly patients are most likely to benefit from reduced sedation, less antimuscarinic and less cardiac toxicity of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. The prevalence of the antidepressant use is the highest among middle-aged people (40–59 years), while the young (under 20) and elderly (older than 70) patients receive mostly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Additional studies should be carried out in order to assess drug-prescribing patterns in accordance with the guidelines of depression treatment in Lithuania considering diagnosis, dosage, and duration of treatment.
Keywords: consumption of antidepressants; defined daily doses; depression consumption of antidepressants; defined daily doses; depression
MDPI and ACS Style

Jakimavičius, M.; Sveikata, A.; Vainauskas, P.; Jankūnas, R.; Mikučionytė, L.; Sapolienė, A.; Šmigelskas, K. Analysis of antidepressant prescribing tendencies in Lithuania in 2003–2004. Medicina 2007, 43, 412.

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