A new report from the federal government shows that prescriptions for antidepressant medications rose from 154 million scripts in 2002 to 170 million in 2005.

The written prescriptions were filed after patients talked with physicians in-person or over the phone and did not include refills.

The analysis, by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality discovered psychiatrists prescribed 29 percent of the medications followed by general practitioners who issued 23 percent of the medicines.

Family practitioners also prescribed 21 percent of the antidepressants while internal medicine specialists wrote 10 percent of the orders.

The prescription pattern demonstrates the growing role of primary care physicians in the management of depression.

Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality