ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Senator Asks How Many Soldiers are On Antidepressants

Paragraph two reads:  “Citing the rising number of suicides among active-duty
soldiers in the U.S. Army,
a senator wrote to the
secretary of defense this week asking for the ‘estimated number and percentage
of troops since June 2005 who have been prescribed antidepressant

medications while serving in Iraq and
Afghanistan’.”

http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2009/11/12/senatoraskshowmany-troops-areonantidepressants/

  • November 12, 2009, 10:11 AM ET

Senator Asks How Many Troops Are on

Antidepressants

By Jacob Goldstein

For people in their late teens
and early 20s, taking an antidepressant may actually increase
the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors
, at least during initial
treatment. So it’s important that those patients are carefully
monitored.

Citing the rising number of
suicides
among active-duty soldiers in the U.S. Army, a senator wrote to the
secretary of defense this week asking for the “estimated number and percentage
of troops since June 2005 who have been prescribed antidepressant medications
while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

The  letter is from
Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat. He said Congress must:

examine the extent to which DoD is prescribing antidepressants to its
service members, especially those deployed in-theatre, and the methods it is
employing to ensure that sufficient observation periods are conducted by
properly trained mental health providers. In short, my concern is how DoD is
managing the sheer volume and manner by which antidepressant drugs are being
administered to our service men and women overseas.

We called
and emailed the Department of Defense to ask for a reply, but they didn’t
immediately respond to our request. We’ll update this post when we hear
back.

Hat Tip: Pharmalot;
Photo: iStockphoto

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