New Zealanders' use of antidepressants increases but not helpful: study

WELLINGTON, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Antidepressant prescribing rates are continuing to increase in New Zealand but there is no sign of improving people's mental health, according to a study published on Friday.

According to the study conducted by Otago University published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, in 2015, about 13 percent of all New Zealanders aged 15 and over were prescribed antidepressants.

New Zealand ranks the eighth highest consumer of antidepressants per person in the OECD, statistics showed.

European women, particularly those aged 65 and over were highest users, with one in five collecting a prescription, the study showed.

Psychiatrist Roger Mulder, one of the researchers of the study, said while antidepressants worked for some, they may not work well for others.

Those with mild symptoms did not appear to get much benefit from the drugs, Mulder said, adding that the drugs work best in people with "severe, recurrent or melancholic depression."

"Giving more and more people antidepressants doesn't seem to be a good strategy," he said.

Antidepressants cost New Zealand 8.5 million New Zealand dollars (5.7 million U.S. dollars) in the year to June, according to the study.

[ Editor: WPY ]
 

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