Drug advice ignored in a third of cases

More than 85,000 children were given antidepressants in 2004-5 against the recommendations of the government advisory body on drug safety, it has emerged.

Nearly one-third of the antidepressant prescriptions given to under-18s were for drugs that the Committee on Safety of Medicines deemed unsuitable for children and adolescents in 2003.
The figures were revealed in a parliamentary answer to Liberal Democrat MP Paul Burstow.

Burstow said: “The fact that this level of prescribing is occurring at all is further evidence of the under-investment in child and adolescent mental health services and the chronic shortage of talking therapies.”


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