Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Increase in proportion of patients on long-term medication accounts for increase in antidepressant prescribing in UK

Statistics from



What factors have contributed to the recent increase in the prescription of antidepressants in the UK?


Participants were 189 851 people from the general practice research database (GPRD) and who had experienced their first episode of depression between 1993 and 2005.


UK. The sample was selected from the GPRD, which contains anonymised primary care records of over 3 million patients registered in the UK. A total of 170 practices contributed data for the full duration of the study.


The participants comprised first ever diagnoses of depression between 1993 and 2005 without an associated prescription for antidepressants or with a first ever antidepressant prescription for depression that was diagnosed 180 days before or 90 days after the prescribing event. The cohort of patients being followed in 1993 comprised the incident cases of first ever depression episode in that year whereas the cohort in the following years was cumulative and included patients from earlier years. The cohorts of later years therefore contained a mixture incident cases, prevalent cases and new episodes. The patients were divided into five mutually exclusive groups: …

View Full Text


  • Source of funding University of Southampton.


  • Competing interests None

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Linked Articles