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Each day, about 8,500 Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer. That’s a figure that doesn’t include the rest of the world, as more and more people suffer from melanoma, often when they least expect it. But when it comes to avoiding the disease, it’s not as simplistic as applying sunscreen whenever you go to the

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Antidepressants shocker almost 50% used for other conditions

The Canada-based study suggests that depression was the reason for the antidepressant prescription slightly more than half of the time, based on records from Quebec physicians over the past decade. When not prescribed for depression, antidepressants were prescribed to patients suffering from an array of conditions including anxiety, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, insomnia, migraine, obsessive compulsive disorder, and other conditions that may be similar, but aren’t the same as depression.

antidepressants

The study referred to these as “off-label” conditions for which antidepressants aren’t approved for. And, as the study also noted, the drugs were prescribed for off-label purposes about two out of three times for non-depression cases.

All in all, antidepressant use has been rising quickly in many parts of the world, including the United States, where usage figures rose by almost 400 percent between 1988-1994 and 2005-2008. Government statistics note more distressing figures — according to the CDC, 11 percent of American teens and adults take antidepressants.

“I’ve always written these are not necessarily best called antidepressants,” said Brown University professor Peter Kramer, who was not involved in the study. “They are active in the nervous system, but whether they reverse depression or they intervene against certain kinds of injuries against nerve cells in some general way that isn’t targeting depression, that seems to be an open question.”

Even with that in mind, the researchers believe that the uncertainty regarding antidepressants and their impact on non-depression conditions is the main take-home thought of their study.

“The thing that’s of concern here is that when prescribing for conditions other than depression, often these are for indications such as fibromyalgia and migraine where it’s unknown whether the drug is going to be effective, because it’s never been studied,” warned senior author Robyn Tamblyn of the University of Montreal. She added that a lot of doctors are “prescribing in the dark” as a result of this trend.

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Each day, about 8,500 Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer. That’s a figure that doesn’t include the rest of the world, as more and more people suffer from melanoma, often when they least expect it. But when it comes to avoiding the disease, it’s not as simplistic as applying sunscreen whenever you go to the

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