Veteranclaims’s Blog

September 4, 2010

Significant Increase in Psych Med Use by Troops

Other trends from 2005 through 2009 revealed in the Tricare prescription data:

•Anti-depressants remain the most commonly used type of psychiatric drug among Tricare beneficiaries, accounting for or half of all prescribed mental health medications.

•Anti–convulsants and anti-epileptics such as Topamax and Neurontin increased 56 percent among beneficiaries 18 to 34.

•Anti-anxiety medications such as Klonopin and Xanax climbed 72 percent among beneficiaries 18 to 34.

Full Article at: “Psych meds spike among younger troops”

By Andrew Tilghman and Brendan McGarry – Staff writers
Posted : Friday Sep 3, 2010 12:14:35 EDT

“Use of psychiatric medications among people ages 18 to 34 — mostly active-duty troops and their spouses — is rising at a significantly higher rate than other age groups in the military health care system, according to data newly released to Military Times.

Overall, the number of prescriptions filled for psychiatric medications rose 42 percent from 2005 to 2009 among Tricare beneficiaries in that age group, according to data provided by Tricare Management Activity in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

That compares to an increase of 24 percent among Tricare beneficiaries ages 45 to 64, mostly retirees. For children 17 and younger, the increase was 18 percent.

All the increases outpace overall growth in the Tricare population over the same period.

Anti-depressants like Zoloft, Wellbutrin and Celexa account for slightly more than half of the prescriptions in this age group. But increasingly, young adults in the military and their spouses are turning to other types of psych meds to treat their mental health problems.”

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