ABSTRACT

Introduction: Depression is an illness it affects millions of people each year and does not discriminate between age, sex or race. Depression can devastate not only the person experiencing the depression but their loved ones. The risk of death from suicide, accidents, heart disease, respiratory disorders, and stroke is higher among the depressed.
Objective: The objective was to fi nd out the choice of Antidepressant by Psychiatrists.
Materials and Methods: This is a cross-sectional study conducted in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry in India. Between December, 2005 and April 30, 2006. All practicing psychiatrists and doctors working in private and government organization were as asked to complete a self-administrated questionnaire. These doctors were chosen for the study as they are responsible for treating the majority of psychiatric patients in government hospitals, public outpatient clinics and private clinics in Chennai, Madurai, and Pondicherry. The survey included demographic data on age, gender, and type of practice. It also covered fi rst – line preferences in the treatment of depression and effi cacy of anti-depressants.
Results: The survey refl ected the prescribing pattern for the period studied December 1, 2005 to April, 2006. Of the 26 questionnaires sent to 31 persons, there were 30 respondents, an overall response rate of 97%. According to this study, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) agents are favored as fi rst-line treatment in a fi rst episode of depression and are prescribed more frequently than tricyclic antidepressants (TCA) agents. Fluoxetine and citalopram were the most frequently prescribed SSRI. The SSRIs were probably the drug class of choice because of minimum the side effects better tolerated than the older drugs, there is better patient compliance with the once a day dosing and the suicide potential is low. This study clearly revealed that fl uoxetine, amitriptyline, and moclobemide are most frequently prescribed antidepressant drugs in the group of SSRIs, TCAs, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), respectively.
Conclusion: This study shows the newer antidepressant, SSRIs were prescribed in the majority of cases and were considered to be of greater effi cacy than the older antidepressants such as the TCAs and MAOIs. It has been concluded that SSRIs were deemed to be the class of drugs that would most likely be prescribed.