A stye drug has been used by some doctors to treat a number of ailments including anorexia, bulimia, depression and more, according to the latest figures from the Australian Medical Association.
The AMA has published its latest figures, which show there were 5,500 new diagnoses of anxiety and depressive disorders in Australia last year.
It’s not clear exactly what caused the rise, but it appears to have to do with the widespread use of Stemmed (Xenoxa) as a treatment for depression.
The drug was first approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2009.
But there have been concerns that the drug can cause side effects including anxiety, agitation, irritability, depression, irritable bowel syndrome and psychosis.
“Stemmed is also known to have an adverse effect on the central nervous system, with some patients reporting that the medication can trigger seizures,” the AMA said.
“There are concerns that this may be related to the possible increased use of Xenoxa and Stemming as a side effect treatment for anxiety and depression.”
The adverse effect may be particularly problematic for patients who are older or who have underlying medical conditions that may increase the risk of the side effects.
“The AIA said the drug was used in less than 1 per cent of all patients with depression in the US, but that it was “reasonably available and safe”.
The AHA said it had identified 2,000 new cases of anxiety or depression in Australia, of which more than 80 per cent were treated with a medication.
The number of Australians using Stembed has remained relatively constant over the past two years, the AIA figures show.”
A small number of patients who were using Xenoxas for a long time were now receiving Stemmined, and we believe that this is in part due to the increased availability of Stemsmed,” the organisation said.
In addition, the number of Stemed-treated patients has dropped from 2,500 in 2016 to 1,600 in 2017.
The rise in the number and severity of anxiety disorders has also been attributed to increased attention being paid to the role that medication can play in treating anxiety, particularly as it was the first medication approved by FDA for treating depression.
It is not known how long the stye drugs are currently used.
But the AHA has flagged a number more common issues with Stems, including the use of the drug in a way that may have led to increased side effects.”
It is unclear how Stems has become the treatment of choice for anxiety, but there is a risk that this trend is continuing,” the AMA said.
It also said that the use and availability of styes for depression in particular has increased.
The AMA’s latest figures come as it publishes its own new research into the use, safety and side effects of antidepressants in the future.
The organisation says that although Stems may be an effective treatment for the common anxiety and mood disorders, it is not without its own problems.”
This is because antidepressants can have potentially serious side effects, such as depression and suicidal thoughts,” the group said.