This site is intended for health professionals only

Wales tops anti-depressant list


Wales contains seven of the top 10 areas for the prescription of anti-depressant drugs in England and Wales, with the southern valleys region coming out on top.

The area with the highest number of prescription was Torfaen, in the historic boundaries of Monmouthshire, which had 104 prescriptions per 1,000 patients in January.

The figures, obtained by the BBC in a Freedom of Information Act request, showed just under one in 10 of patients in Rhondda Cynon Taf, Blaenau Gwent and Merthyr Tydfil were prescribed the drugs.

National guidelines advise patients should be recommended alternative treatments before embarking on a course of anti-depressants. These can include self-help or therapy sessions.

And the Welsh Assembly Government said significant amounts of investment had been placed in mental health services over recent years.

But despite this, there was a 3.15% increase in the prescription of drugs like Prozac in 2008.

The highest year-on-year rise in prescribing was found in Torfaen and Blaenau Gwent, according to the figures.

Copyright Press Association 2009

Welsh Assembly


Be in the know
Subscribe to Hospital Pharmacy Europe newsletter and magazine