The current consensus is that Americans are being prescribed far too much medication — especially SSRI antidepressants like Paxil and Effexor. According to a recent survey, half of the psychiatrists surveyed said that they prescribe antidepressants to patients after less than three minutes into a session.

Nowadays, there is a drug being pushed for almost every ailment that a person can think of. Recent studies have shown that antidepressants are the second-most-prescribed medication in America. In fact, doctors at Johns Hopkins University have published the results of a study that showed that almost “three-quarters of all antidepressant prescriptions are signed by doctors without patients even having a specific diagnosis.” This means that many antidepressants prescribed (like Paxil and Effexor) are given before the patient has even been diagnosed with depression. As if that wasn’t bad enough, most of the prescriptions are being handed out by medical doctors instead of psychiatrists.

Current information also shows that pharmaceutical companies regularly pay private clinics, organizations and universities that do their drug research for them (which often downplay their risks), as well as paying the clinics and hospital money to prescribe their drugs over other similar drugs. Since the drug manufacturers are solely responsible for conducting drug trials in order to gain FDA approval, many drugs hit the market before the FDA can fully understand the efficacy and safety of the drugs and the regulators are forced to rely on consumer complaints and reports of drug side effects being reported through the MedWatch program as a means of catching the dangers.

What this means is that the FDA basically just relies on companies to report adverse effects on their own, which is how dangerous medications like Paxil and Effexor get on the market at all. By the time the FDA gets enough complaints from patients about injuries and illnesses from taking the drugs, it is too late. This is why there are so many drug injury lawsuits making their way though the courts. All this shows is that pharmaceuticals, though helpful, are also dangerous and because of that, doctors should be more cautious when prescribing medications and patients should try to be more aware of the side effects of every medication they take.