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21 Feb, 2022 07:54

Russian demand for antidepressants surges

Knock-on effects of the pandemic may be damaging the country’s mental health, experts warn
Russian demand for antidepressants surges

Demand for antidepressants in Russia has massively increased over the past six months, in what one psychiatrist has called a consequence of the crushing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on society’s mental health. 

Sales of antidepressants are up 43% in just half a year, while antipsychotics are also up 35%, according to the latest figures published by Moscow daily Izvestia, citing data recorded by the national tracing system Chestny ZNAK.

In total, since July 2021, Russians have spent 2.5 billion rubles ($32 million) on medicines used to treat mental health issues. 

Medical professionals have put the increased demand down to users’ concerns about their health, notably post-covid symptoms and general anxiety caused by multiple lockdowns and working remotely, resulting in isolation throughout the pandemic, Izvestia reported. 

“The number of complications from the nervous system and psyche has increased due to the so-called post-covid syndrome,” said psychiatrist and psychotherapist Yuri Vyalba in an interview with Izvestia, adding that the resultant anxiety and depressive states would normally be treated by doctors with psychotropic drugs. 

Recently published numbers have also revealed that Covid-19 may have had a negative effect on male potency. According to Izvestia, which cited numbers published by Chestny ZNAK, sales of erectile dysfunction medication have skyrocketed by 43%.

An influx in sales of sildenafil and tadalafil, the two drugs that saw the biggest growth in popularity, were recorded in Krasnodar Territory (+76%), Moscow Region (+43%), and Moscow (+25%), the system said.