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Second-Generation Antidepressants for Treating Adult Depression—An Update

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Background: Prevalence of Depressive Disorders

Depressive disorders such as major depressive disorder (MDD), dysthymia, and subsyndromal depression may be serious, disabling illnesses. MDD affects more than 16 percent of adults at some point during their lifetimes. In 2000, the economic burden of depressive disorders in the United States was estimated to be $83.1 billion. Likely, this number has increased during the past 10 years. More than 30 percent of these costs are attributable to direct medical expenses.