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Thomson Reuters Study Offers New Insight on How Physicians Prescribe Psychiatric Drugs
Date:3/22/2010

ANN ARBOR, Mich., March 22 /PRNewswire/ -- A study published today outlines the medical conditions that U.S. physicians reported treating with psychiatric drugs.

The research was conducted by Thomson Reuters, sponsored by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and published in the journal CNS Drugs.

Psychiatric medications are one of the most widely prescribed categories of drugs in the nation, but few studies have comprehensively examined the types of illnesses being treated with these medications. There has been a great deal of interest and some concern about the "off-label" use of psychiatric drugs -- that is, their use for medical conditions not included in their Food and Drug Administration-approved labeling. In most instances it is legal and a common practice for physicians to prescribe drugs off-label, even though less may be known about a drug's risks and benefits for an unapproved indication.      

This study did not evaluate whether drugs were prescribed for on- or off-label use, but it reveals that in the vast majority of cases physicians are prescribing psychiatric medications for patients with psychiatric conditions. These medications -- especially anti-anxiety drugs -- are also
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