5% Rise In People On Antidepressants

13 October 2015, 15:11 | Updated: 13 October 2015, 15:17

The number of people treated with antidepressants has increased by almost 5% in the last year, according to new figures.

Official statistics show the drugs were dispensed to 814,181 patients in Scotland during 2014/15, up from 778,180 in 2013/14.

A rise of 28.5% has been recorded since 2009/10, when 633,791 people were treated with antidepressants.

Around two-thirds (66.4%) of the patients who received the drugs in the last year were female, with the peak age between 50-54 years.

Antidepressant treatment also increased with deprivation, with 225,969 patients in the poorest parts of Scotland receiving the drugs, compared to 110,507 in the least deprived areas.

Despite a rise in the number of prescriptions, the total cost of the drugs has fallen by 30.5% between 2004/05 and 2014/15, from £58.7 million £40.8 million.

Statisticians point out that many drugs classified as antidepressants can be used to treat other conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety.