Depression is a prevalent mental health disorder and the fourth leading cause of disability in the world as per the World Health Organization. Use of antidepressants can lead to adverse drug events (ADEs), defined as any injury resulting from medication use. This study aimed to examine changes in hospital admissions due to antidepressant-related ADEs (ArADEs) among different socio-demographic groups and changes in lengths of stay (LOS) and hospital charges in ArADE admissions from 2001 to 2011.
The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project database was used. ArADE admissions in different socio-demographic groups were examined including characteristics such as age, gender, rural/urban, and income. LOS and hospital charges for ArADE cases were compared between 2001 and 2011. Chi-square test and t test were used for statistical analyses.
There were 17,375 and 20,588 ArADE related admissions in 2001 and 2011, respectively. There was a 17.6% increase among the group of 18 to 64 years old and a 64.8% increase among the group of 65 years or older while the other age groups experienced decreased admission rates. Males and females had similar increases. Patients from the lower income areas experienced a two-fold increase while those from the higher income areas experienced a decrease. The mean LOS for all ArADE related admissions increased from 2.18 to 2.81 days and mean hospital charges increased from $8,456.2 to $21,572.5.
There was an increase in ArADE hospital admissions. The greater increase in ArADE admissions among elderly, urban or low-income patients should be noted and addressed by practitioners and policy makers. The large increase in hospital charges needs further research.