The Psychiatry On-Line Survey - Final Results

In August 1995 we began what will be a series of repeated surveys of psychiatric opinion and practice. Our initial survey, which will be repeated once or twice a year, sought to establish which are the most popular antidepressants prescribed by psychiatrists.

The results of the survey are published here in condensed form, drawing out the most interesting findings. The image below shows in graphical form the percentages of psychiatrist nominating particular antidepressants as their favourite antidepressants prescribed by them in the previous week. We have chosen to analyse and present the entries of 250 psychiatrists here. We also chose to only use the responses of psychiatrists that we could verify in some way. There were more respondents, however not every one left all the required details on the form. The result therefore is limited in scope, but as more psychiatrists join the net we hope that our continuing surveys should provide a larger database and that we should be able to predict trends and establish differences in practice more clearly.

Drug Popularity Percentage
Sertraline 28
Fluoxetine 23
Paroxetine 20
Clomipramine 6
Venlafaxine 4
Amitriptyline 3
Citalopram 2
Fluvoxamine <2
Imipramine <2
Moclobemide <2
Dothiepin <2




The world favourite was clearly sertraline which was the favourite of 28% of respondents. We had supposed that fluoxetine would be number one, but the trend would seem to be moving away from this drug which held only 23%. Paroxetine, at 20% appears to be rivalling fluoxetine in popularity and we might suggest that it could eventually overtake fluoxetine. Newer drugs such as venlafaxine (4%) and citalopram (2%) are not yet globally available.

The predominance of SSRIs is fairly absolute amongst this sample of psychiatrists. Amitriptyline and dothiepin together only represent about 5%. One wonders if this might suggest that the sample of psychiatrists responding is biased in favour of a younger generation of psychiatrists who have perhaps grown up with the SSRIs rather than an older generation who might have switched from tricyclics to SSRIs. This may reflect the self-selected group who use the Internet, rather than psychiatrists as a whole. Again, as Internet use becomes more widespread this source of bias might disappear.

Average Drug Dosages
Antidepressant Mean Dose (mg) Range (mg)
Fluoxetine 23 20-60
Sertraline 95 50-200
Paroxetine 25 15-40
Clomipramine 98 15-150
Amitriptyline 114 75-250

National Favourites

A selection of a few of the many countries that took part.

Country Most frequent/favourite antidepressant
US Sertraline
UK Paroxetine/Fluoxetine
Japan Amitriptyline
Taiwan Fluoxetine
Singapore Sertraline
Scandinavia Citalopram/Fluoxetine
Australia Paroxetine/Sertraline
Canada Paroxetine
Italy Paroxetine

Go to Psychiatry On-Line Contents

Copyright Priory Lodge Education 1995-7

Last Amended 18/02/00