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February 1987

Antidepressant Treatment of Medical-Surgical Inpatients by Nonpsychiatric Physicians

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1987;44(2):157-160. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1987.01800140067009

• The prescribing of antidepressants by nonpsychiatric physicians on adult medical-surgical inpatient services of a university hospital was examined through the review of medical records of patients who received amitriptyline hydrochloride, doxepin hydrochloride, or imipramine hydrochloride during a one-year period. Reasons for antidepressant use were treatment of depression (56%), pain (30%), or other conditions (14%). Regardless of the reason for use, nonpsychiatric physicians were found to use relatively low dosages, rarely plan or effect dosage increases, and rarely discontinue medication.