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Indications related to antidepressant prescribing in the Nivel-PCD database and the SIDIAP database.

Camacho-Arteaga, L.F., Gardarsdottir, H., Ibañez, L., Souverein, P.C., Dijk, L. van, Hek, K., Vidal, X., Ballarin, E., Sabaté, M. Indications related to antidepressant prescribing in the Nivel-PCD database and the SIDIAP database. Journal of Affective Disorders: 2022, 303, p. 131-137.
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Antidepressant drug consumption has increased, mainly in the elderly. This trend could be explained by the use for indications other than depression. We aimed to describe the indications related to antidepressant drug new users in two primary care settings.

A longitudinal study of new antidepressant users aged ≥65 was conducted, with data from the Nivel-PCD (The Netherlands) and SIDIAP (Catalonia) databases (2010-2015). As a proxy for indication, diagnoses registered around the 3 months of antidepressant prescribing were collected. Indications were classified in seven categories and an additional one of non-selected indications. The percentage and incidence calculated over the total population registered was described.

A total of 16,537 and 199,168 new antidepressant users were identified in the Nivel-PCD and SIDIAP databases, respectively (women aged 65-69 were the most prevalent). Depression was the most frequent indication (24.0% and 31.3%), followed by anxiety (12.5% and 19.5%) and sleep disorders (10.2% and 26.4%). Tricyclic antidepressants were the most commonly prescribed in Nivel-PCD (48.7%), mainly associated with neuropathic pain, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants in SIDIAP (63.1%), associated with depression. The non-selected indications category showed an upward trend in the Nivel-PCD database while in the SIDIAP database it decreased.

It is not mandatory for physicians to register a diagnosis with each prescription.

Depression was the most common prescribing indication in the Netherlands and Spain, followed by anxiety and sleep disorders. The most commonly prescribed antidepressant differed between the countries and is likely explained by differences in local guidelines.