Youngsters younger than six are being prescribed antidepressants by GPs in England, based on new statistics.
Docs handed out 198,906 prescriptions for medicine to treat depression and nervousness to youngsters youthful than 18 between April 2015 and September 2016.
Out of those prescriptions, 12,756 got to youngsters aged seven to 12, and 617 have been assigned to these aged younger than six.
Specialists referred to as the figures ‘worrying’ and warned docs might be using medicine as a ‘sticking plaster’ to cowl poor entry to mental health remedy.
Tips from the National Institute for Well being and Care Excellence say antidepressants ought to solely by prescribed to youngsters underneath 18 with average or severe melancholy.
Youngsters younger than six are being prescribed antidepressants by GPs, in response to figures
‘SUICIDE RISK’ TO TEENAGERS WHO TAKE ANTIDEPRESSANTS
Teenagers who take widespread antidepressants are more likely to feel suicidal, in accordance with a research launched final yr.
A serious research concluded youngsters and adolescents have a doubled danger of aggression or suicidal behaviour when taking considered one of 5 widespread medicine to combat melancholy.
The specialists accused drug companies of failing to document the dangers correctly – and warned younger individuals’s antidepressant use ought to be ‘minimal’.
Specialists stated the ‘worrying’ findings, revealed in the British Medical Journal, ought to make docs think about whether or not to depend on the medicine.
Why are more youngsters taking melancholy medicine?
The info was obtained by a Freedom of Info request sent by The Times.
Marc Bush, a senior coverage adviser at the Young Minds charity, advised The Occasions the figures might mirror a scarcity of access to youngsters’s psychological well being providers.
He stated: ‘The rise in the variety of youngsters and younger individuals being prescribed antidepressants is worrying.
‘Long waiting occasions and excessive thresholds for remedy mean that GPs might really feel underneath strain to prescribe antidepressants to youngsters.
‘There could be a place for medicine in treating young individuals’s mental well being problems, however it should not be used as a sticking plaster for poor entry to speaking therapies.’
It is attainable the statistics may additionally embrace remedy for other issues affecting youngsters, resembling epileptic matches or bedwetting.
Docs handed out 198,906 prescriptions for antidepressants to under-18s from 2015 to 2016
A growing development
Charges of melancholy and nervousness among youngsters have soared by 70 per cent up to now 25 years, in accordance with Young Minds.
Specialists have previously blamed strain to do properly in exams and a disconnect between mother and father and their youngsters for the rise in mental well being issues amongst young individuals.
Tips from the Nationwide Institute for Health and Care dictate that antidepressants should solely be provided to under-18s who have average to severe melancholy.
Medicine also needs to only be provided alongside psychological remedy.
The rules additionally state that fluoxetine, generally generally known as Prozac, must be given to five to 11-year-old with ‘warning’ and only when psychological therapy does not assist.
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