Depression remains one of the leading causes of disability in the United States causing productivity losses amounting to $40 million, according to the World Health Organization. According to a similar report by BBC News, around 150 million people have been afflicted with the mental disorder and the number is growing as years pass. Studies show that nearly half of this rate is prescribed with antidepressant drugs such as Paxil, Zoloft, Lexapro and Prozac. Along with the reported side effects of most antidepressants, especially with Paxil alcohol effects, birth defects and heart problems, antidepressant use have grown a cause for concern such as the dilemma with premature deliveries.
A large number of patients are exposed to the side effects of drugs as the number of drug dependencies rise on antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs. An example for this would be Paxil which causes severe side effects including birth defects, cardiovascular complications and suicidal behavior. Because of these issues, many lawsuits have sparked up. Due to various reported complaints regarding the some antidepressant side effects, more and more depression patients are now rethinking their treatment options.
The New York Times reports that the number of Americans taking antidepressants doubled to 10.1 percent of the population in 2005 compared with 1996, increasing across income and age groups over the years. An estimated 27 million Americans ages six and older were taking these antidepressant drugs by 2005, while their use of psychotherapy declined, according to Columbia University researchers. The CBS News also reported the skyrocketing antidepressant use. Over a 10-year period the use of the pills has risen a staggering 400 percent, according to the Center for Disease Control National Center for Health Statistics.
There was also an alarming finding regarding the number of Americans who take antidepressants even though they do not experience any depressive symptoms. "The reality is that there are not enough mental health care providers around to treat all who need it," Dr. Gary Small, a psychiatrist and director of the UCLA Center on Aging told ABC News, says. "Part of what we do as psychiatrists is teach doctors how to diagnose and treat depression so that a lot of depression can be handled in primary care."
As the number of antidepressant users continue to grow, a call for a higher perusal and regulation over these drugs had been warranted by this concern. More and more users are affected and exposed by the harmful repercussions of antidepressant intake. Further inconveniences also raise a concern among depression patients such as a Paxil lawsuit. Paxil lawsuits have been prompted all over the country because of injuries allegedly attributed to the use of the paroxetine drug.