gms | German Medical Science

17th Annual Meeting of the German Drug Utilisation Research Group (GAA)

Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie

25.11. - 26.11.2010, Osnabrück

Antidepressant Prescription Patterns

Meeting Abstract

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  • Marcel Sieberer - Medizinische Hochschule, Hannover, Germany
  • corresponding author Christel Schicktanz - ZeS, Universität Bremen, Germany
  • Gerd Glaeske - ZeS, Universität Bremen, Germany

Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelanwendungsforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie e.V. (GAA). 17. Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelanwendungsforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie. Osnabrück, 25.-26.11.2010. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2010. Doc10gaa33

doi: 10.3205/10gaa33, urn:nbn:de:0183-10gaa339

Published: November 22, 2010

© 2010 Sieberer et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Introduction: In recent years, prescriptions of antidepressants have increased substantially. Antidepressants are an integrative part of depression therapy but recent publications discuss the benefit-risk ratio.

Methods: A statutory health insurance company’s person-specific but non-identifying prescription data from 2009 were analysed. Prevalence, DDDs and costs were calculated dependent on drug types, age and sex.

Results: In the year 2009, 5.7% of the insured persons get a prescription of antidepressants. For women the probability of a prescription of antidepressants is nearly twice as high as for males, especially at old age. During this year the prescription of antidepressants is divided into selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs=46%), tri- and tetracyclic antidepressants (TACs=26%), serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs=12%) and noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressants (NaSSAs=10%).

Discussion and conclusion: Although the number of prescriptions is constantly increasing, there is still no evidence for a better quality of therapy in Germany. Prospective therapeutical effects should be weighted up against adverse drug effects. Especially for older people drug types with strong anticholinergic properties should be critically evaluated.