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Psychotropic drug use in France: changes over time and comparison with other European countries



Psychotropic drug use in France: changes over time and comparison with other European countries



Bulletin de l'Academie Nationale de Medecine 190(6): 1139-44; Discussion 1144-5



Over the past 20 years, hypnotic drug use has diminished in France, while consumption of anxiolytics and neuroleptics has remained stable and antidepressant use has risen. Data from the ESEMeD survey (European Study of Epidemiology of Mental Disorders) conducted in 2002 in Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Netherlands and Italy showed that use of anxiolytics during the previous year (including recurrent use) was less frequent in Germany than elsewhere. Belgium and France had a higher prevalence of antidepressant consumption. Among depressed patients, fewer than one-third reported antidepressant use (no difference among the countries), while one-third said they used anxiolytics (higher rate in France). One-quarter of patients with anxiety stated they used a benzodiazepine (lower rate in Germany). Age, psychiatric disorders and neurological disorders were strongly associated with benzodiazepine use. Factors strongly associated with antidepressant use were age (bell-shaped curve), female sex, and psychiatric disorders.

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Accession: 050070572

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PMID: 17195398


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