Items and costs of antidepressants and antipsychotics drugs

These charts show the number of items of antipsychotics and antidepressants drugs prescribed in England and the total cost of these items. The figures can be examined from a national perspective only.

Policy context

Antidepressants are a type of medicine used to treat clinical depression.

They can also be used to treat a number of other conditions, including obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), generalised anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Antidepressants are also sometimes used to treat people with long-term (chronic) pain.

Antipsychotics are psychiatric drugswhich are available on prescription, and are licensed to treat types of mental health problems whose symptoms include psychotic experiences.

These include: schizophrenia; schizoaffective disorder; some forms of bipolar disorder; and severe depression.

Some antipsychotics may also be used to treat: severe anxiety (but only in very low doses), physical problems, such as persistent hiccups, problems with balance and nausea (feeling sick), agitation and psychotic experiences in dementia (although they're not usually recommended in this case).

It is important to monitor the prescription and costs of these medications over time.

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