Behavioral Medicine – More than 20% of behavioral American adults and more than 25% of women took at least one medicine for such conditions as anxiety and depression in 2010, according to an analysis of prescription data released Wednesday.
The report by pharmacy benefits manager Medco Health Solutions Inc., says use of drugs for psychiatric and behavioral disorders rose 22 percent from 2001 to 2010. The statistics were taken from Medco’s database of prescriptions and is based on 2.5 million patients with 24 months of continuous prescription drug insurance and eligibility.
The company said women are twice as likely as men to use behavioral medicine, as 11 percent of women 45 to 65 are on an anxiety medication. Women are also more likely than men to take antipsychotic drugs like Zyprexa, Risperdal, and Abilify, which treat disorders like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. However, among men 20 to 64, use of the drugs has quadrupled over the last decade.
In adults 20 to 44, use of anti-psychotic drugs and treatments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder more than tripled.
Use of anti-anxiety drugs like Xanax, Valium, and Ativan rose 30 percent from a decade ago.
In the “diabetes belt” states of Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama, about 23 percent of people are on at least one psychiatric or behavioral disorder medicine. Diabetes is particularly widespread in those states and the condition is associated with higher levels of depression and anxiety disorders. The lowest rate of prescriptions for behavioral medicine was found in Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan, where less than 15 percent of people are using those medications.