The recent rise in the number of prescriptions for antidepressants is due to the same number of people being prescribed more drugs rather than an increase in the number of people receiving them. A team of researchers from the University of Southampton looked at all new cases of depression between 1993 and 2005 using anonymous data from GPs. They found that, overall, there was a fall of 25% in the number of new cases although there was an increase among women between 18 and 30. However, the number of prescriptions issued per patient rose from 2.8 in 1993 to 5.6 in 2004 raising concerns that people are being kept on the drugs for too long.
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