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How many adults in the united states are taking psychiatric drugs?

About 1 in 6 adults in the United States reported taking psychiatric drugs at least once during 2013, according to a new research letter published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Thomas J. Moore, A.B., of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, Alexandria, Va., and Donald R. Mattison, M.D., M.S., of Risk Sciences International, Ottawa, Canada, used the 2013 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey to calculate percentages of adults using three classes of psychiatric drugs: antidepressants; anxiolytics, sedatives and hypnotics; and antipsychotics.

The research letter reports:

  • 16.7 percent of adults reported filling one or more prescriptions for psychiatric drugs in 2013.
  • 12 percent of adults reported antidepressant use; 8.3 percent reported filling prescriptions for anxiolytics, sedatives and hypnotics; and 1.6 percent reported taking antipsychotics.

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