Tags: Coronavirus | Anxiety | Depression | insomnia | prescription | drugs | mental health

Prescriptions for Anti-anxiety Medications Spike 34% Amid Pandemic

bottles of antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications Wellbutrin, Paxil, Lexapro, Effexor, and Zoloft
Bottles of antidepressant medications, which are also widely prescribed for anxiety, are shown. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Thursday, 16 April 2020 02:49 PM

Prescriptions for antidepressant, anti-anxiety and anti-insomnia medications peaked during the week of March 15, when the coronavirus crisis was declared a pandemic.

Anti-anxiety drugs showed the highest increase, a whopping 34%, which was more than twice the increase of sleeping aids (14.8%) and almost double the increase of antidepressant drug prescriptions recorded (18.6%). Those numbers were reported in a survey of over 31.5 million insured Americans conducted by Express Scripts, a pharmacy benefit manager.

“This analysis, showing that many Americans are turning to medications for relief, demonstrates the serious impact COVID-19 may be having on our nation’s mental health,” the report concluded, according to Market Watch.

In a separate survey conducted by the University of Phoenix, researchers noted that more than 4 in 10 Americans are feeling lonelier than ever before as a result of social distancing. Since the coronavirus spread, 22 % say that their quality of sleep has suffered, says Market Watch.

According to Forbes, the coronavirus lockdown is taking a toll on mental health as well. A recent report by the Kaiser Family Foundation says that 45% of people polled revealed that worry and stress had a negative impact on their mental health.

Since over 20 million Americans are out of work and the number of cases and deaths attributed to COVID-19 are escalating daily, it’s no wonder we’re experiencing mental and emotional upheaval, reports Market Watch.

Experts expect an uptick on these disturbing trends as the pandemic continues.

“As time goes by and people develop even more anxiety or depression as it relates to economic uncertainty or as a side effect of isolation, we do expect our numbers to continue to increase,” says Roger McIntyre, professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology at the University of Toronto. “What we are seeing is a combustible mix of loneliness and stress that is amplified by COVID-19,” he tells Forbes.

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Prescriptions for antidepressant, anti-anxiety and anti-insomnia medications peaked during the week of March 15, when the coronavirus crisis was declared a pandemic. Anti-anxiety drugs showed the highest increase, a whopping 34%, which was more than twice...
insomnia, prescription, drugs, mental health
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2020-49-16
Thursday, 16 April 2020 02:49 PM
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