More elderly Swedes prescribed antidepressants

More elderly Swedes prescribed antidepressants
The prescribing of antidepressants for people over 75-years-old has increased dramatically since 2000.

In the last seven years, the number of daily doses has increased 29 percent according to statistics which Sweden’s state-run pharmacy monopoly Apoteket assembled for the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper.

Currently, 14 percent of the over-75 age group is medicated with antidepressants, compared with 5 percent for people under 75-years-old.

The largest increase in the prescribing of antidepressants can be found in Halland, Skåne, Norrbotten and Västra Götaland counties.

An explanation of the widespread prescribing to elderly can be that only 9 of 21 county councils have operations intended mainly for elderly suffering from mental ailments.

“Many have mildly serious symptoms, which are often related to loneliness and melancholy,” said Johan Fastbom, a doctor at the Karolinska Institute, to Svenska Dagbladet.

He feels that medications are prescribed to elderly all too easily.