Use of antidepressants in Scotland rises
One in seven people in Scotland take anti-depressants, according to a report published last week.
Figures published by the NHS Information Services Division showed that 718,330 people were prescribed antidepressants in 2011/2012. It also showed that 67 per cent of those were female and 33 per cent were men.
Anti-depressant prescriptions rose across all age groups with 24 children aged between 0 and four years old being prescribed antidepressants in 2011-2012 in comparison to 10 children in 2009-2010.
The report warned that the data should be interpreted with “great caution”.
“It does not equate to people being treated for depression. This is because many drugs classified as antidepressants can also used for conditions other than depression. These include but are not restricted to neuropathic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety disorders,” the report said.
It also found 78,471 patients were dispensed drugs used in psychoses and related disorders in 2011/12, 42,592 females and 35,879 males. In total, 817,937 items were dispensed for drugs used in psychoses and related disorders during 2011/12, an increase of 32,196 items over the previous year.
Psychoses-related drugs were most prevalent in patients in their 40s, but their use by very young children has also risen. The report showed 29 children aged between 0-4 were prescribed psychoses-related drugs in 2011-12, compared with 20 in 2009-10.
The report also found that the use of drugs to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is 20 times higher than it was 10 years ago. There were 84,269 prescriptions for ADHD drugs in 2011-2012 and they were most commonly prescribed to children aged between 5 and 19-years-old. More boys received treatment for ADHD – 6,103 compared to 1,403 girls.