DOCTORS doled out a record 70.9million prescriptions for antidepressants last year — double the amount in 2008.
The number is up five per cent in a year. It cost the NHS £203million compared with £36million a decade ago, figures from NHS Digital reveal.
Getty – Contributor Doctors doled out record 70.9m prescriptions for antidepressants last year
Overall, a record 1.1billion prescriptions were handed out last year.
GPs are increasingly giving drugs for conditions linked to poor lifestyle such as obesity and unhealthy diet.
Prescriptions for diabetes hit 55million and cost £1.1billion — up 79 per cent in a decade and an eighth of the total £8.8billion NHS prescriptions bill. Demand for preventative treatments such as blood pressure pills rose 23 per cent since 2008.
Use of cholesterol-busting statins went up 43 per cent to 74.3million.
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Mental health charity Sane said social media helped fuel the rise in antidepressants.
Vicki Nash, of Mind, said Brexit may also be a factor, adding: “Political events can create uncertainty.”
The Royal College of GPs said antidepressants were effective if used “appropriately”. It said the increase may reflect a rise in awareness of mental health conditions.
Video explains the science behind anti-depressant medication: Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)