Antidepressant Use Doubles in UK in Past Decade, Even Greater Increase Last Year

Seroxat [Paxil] antidepressant pills.
Photograph: Jack Sullivan/Alamy
The number of antidepressants prescribed by the NHS
has almost doubled in the last decade, and rose sharply last year as the
recession bit, figures reveal.

The health service issued 39.1m prescriptions for drugs to tackle depression in England in 2009, compared
with 20.1m in 1999 – a 95% jump. Doctors handed out 3.18m more prescriptions
last year than in 2008, almost twice the annual rise seen in preceding years,
according to previously unpublished statistics released by the NHS’s Business
Services Authority.

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