Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden in top five for antidepressant use

The use of antidepressants has increased dramatically in rich countries in the past 10 years, fuelling concerns that the pills are being overprescribed. Sweden came fifth in a list produced by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). 

The OECD figures from 2011 showed that, in Sweden, the consumption-rate of antidepressants is 79 doses a day for every 1,000 inhabitants. In 2000, the figure was 45 doses a day.

Iceland has the highest prescription rate, followed by Australia, Canada and Denmark. The lowest rate in 2011 was in Chile, where 12.8 daily doses were prescribed for every 1,000 inhabitants.

According to the OECD, one reason for the dramatic increase could be the use of antidepressants in milder cases. "These extensions have raised concerns about appropriateness," the report said.

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