Antidepressants among Healthcare Professionals in South India
1.Background Antidepressants are drugs which are used to relieve the symptoms of depressive disorders. The clinical awareness about physical, mental and social factors of a patient is very keen in deciding an optimal antidepressant therapy. The rational use of antidepressant must be monitored very carefully as inappropriate use can lead to its abuse and overuse
Purpose This study aims to evaluate the knowledge and attitude towards, antidepressant drugs among the healthcare professionals working in South India. This is to analyse the issues involved in practicing antidepressant therapy and review the methods to ameliorate and enhance the implementation of antidepressants.
Design and methodology The study involved deductive approach as well as qualitative and quantitative analysis was done for the questionnaire-based survey conducted among 50 healthcare professionals in South India. The secondary data was acquired from an analysis of current research articles on antidepressants and its abuse and overuse and the measures to curtail these issues.
Findings Eighty four percent of the participants reported that the main cause for antidepressant abuse and overuse is the inappropriate use of antidepressants. Considering, pharmaceutical companies’ intervention, there was a strong agreement from the study group at seventy four percent while twenty four percent gave a neutral response. A large proportion of the healthcare professionals agree that outpatients pressurise them to prescribe or dispense antidepressants.
Conclusion The participants had adequate understanding of general antidepressant use. Lack of knowledge can be curtailed by the implementation of antidepressant awareness programs. Healthcare professionals should be motivated to attend training programmes to reduce the abuse and overuse of antidepressants.