Using data from 2002 to 2012 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, we estimated that the prevalence of overall antidepressant prescriptions increased almost twofold from 5.2% in 2002 to 10.1% in 2012 in office-based outpatient visits made by older adults. In addition, older adults were exposed to the risk of potentially avoidable adverse drug events in approximately one in ten antidepressant-related visits, or 2.2 million visits annually. Amitriptyline and doxepin were the two most frequent disease-independent potentially inappropriate antidepressants. Racial/ethnic minorities, and Medicaid beneficiaries had higher odds of potentially inappropriate antidepressant prescriptions (P < 0.05). Efforts to minimize potentially inappropriate antidepressant prescriptions are needed.