INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH & OPINION
See a GP for your 'Prozac' prescription in France
Over 50% of general practitioners (GPs) use fluoxetine ['Prozac'] for the first-line treatment of depression, compared with just over a third of psychiatrists, according to the results of a French survey.*
The survey, which examined the antidepressant prescribing differences between 153 GPs and 63 psychiatrists in south-west France, also found that whereas fluoxetine is the most common first-line drug of choice for both types of physician, the drug of second choice is tianeptine for GPs and clomipramine for psychiatrists. Compared with psychiatrists, GPs prescribe lower dosages of antidepressants for severe depression and depression associated with insomnia, and a significantly smaller proportion use tricyclic antidepressants for severe depression and depression associated with anxiety.
The factors reported to influence antidepressant prescribing most in both physician groups were personal experience, adverse drug reactions and drug effectiveness. GPs were more influenced by post-university teaching, hospital speciaiist information and registered indication than psychiatrists, who were more influenced by colleagues' and patients' opinions than GPs. *Of the 400 GPs and psychiatrists who were sent questionnaires, 216 (54%) replied.
Lapeyre-Mestre M, Desboeuf K, A pte! I, Chale J-J, Montastruc J-L. A comparative survey of antidepressant drug prescribing habits of general practitioners and psychiatrists. Clinical Drug Investigation 16: 53-61, Jull998 800682822
11735503198/01730007/$01.00'"' Adis International Limited 1998. All rights reserved PharmacoEconomics & Outcomes News 1 Aug 1998 No. 173