The antidepressant market is on the rise and is also being prescribed and given despite guidance that they should not given to patients// under 18 because of serious safety concerns.
The main reason behind this fiasco is the long waiting periods for suitable therapies like counselling.
The most commonly used anti depressant is Prozac which is recommended for under-18s still lots of warnings are associated with their use.
Statistics reveal that more than 84,000 children and teenagers were prescribed drugs such as Seroxat and Prozac in 2004-2005. The government figures were published in response to a parliamentary question from the Liberal Democrats.
The debate over this issue gained momentum after the experts in 2003 said SSRI antidepressants should not be given to teenagers after experts' concerns they made some patients suicidal.
It has been known that antidepressant cause mood swings still Prozac is advised as staking this particular drug outweigh any potential risk. However, its use is only recommended for those with severe depression.
The figures show there were 27,349 prescriptions of SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressants last year to under 15s, and another 56,924 to teenagers aged 16 to 18 in full-time education.
"Despite warnings by experts that prescribing antidepressant medicines for children and young people can lead to an increased risk of suicide, these figures show doctors have carried on regardless. These figures should be ringing alarm bells at the Department of Health and calling into question the way in which advice on medicines is monitored," said Paul Burstow, the Liberal Democrat health spokesman.
As a retaliatory statement the Department of Health said: "It is important to note that some of the drugs in the Parliamentary Question, while they may be classified as antidepressants, are used for other disorders such as bed-wetting, anxiet
y, obsessive compulsive disorders and phobic states. Given the large range of antidepressants in the list, it cannot be assumed that they were all being used to treat depression in children."
Still there is the fear of suicidal tendencies, mood swings and other psychological problems associated with the use of anti depressant to under 18s or under 15s.
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