SEOUL, Aug. 13 (Korea Bizwire) — Over the past year, 1 in 8 Koreans turned out to have been prescribed narcotic anti-anxiety medication, a drug safety watchdog said Wednesday.
The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety analyzed the use trend of narcotic anti-anxiety drugs for medical use monitored through the Narcotics Information Management System during the period from April 2019 to March 2020.
The analysis showed that 6.6 million people, or 12.7 percent of the nation’s total population, used narcotic anti-anxiety drugs during the period. In other words, one out of 7.85 Koreans used such drugs during the past year.
Among those who used such drugs, women accounted for 63.4 percent (4.16 million), far higher than men at 36.6 percent (2.4 million).
By age group, those in their 60s accounted for the highest share at 20.4 percent, followed by those in their 50s at 19.5 percent and those in their 70s at 15.9 percent.
By drug, 3.19 million people were prescribed diazepam, which made it the most commonly prescribed drug, followed by alprazolam at 2.66 million and lorazepam at 1.14 million. These drugs are typically used to treat anxiety.
The number of cases in which drugs that are recommended for specific-age patients, including elderly people, were prescribed to those in a group for which they are not intended, totaled 1.05 million (15.9 percent).
M. H. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)