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Trends in long-term prescribing of dependence forming medicines

Sehmi, R., Smith, N., Nguyen, A. and McManus, S. ORCID: 0000-0003-2711-0819 (2019). Trends in long-term prescribing of dependence forming medicines. London, UK: PHRC/NatCen.

Abstract

Using patient-level primary care data to estimate the extent to which antidepressant medicines are prescribed to people continuously for long periods of time.

Aim
This descriptive research used patient-level primary care data to estimate the extent to which antidepressant medicines are prescribed to people continuously for long periods of time. The study also drew on survey data and data on the number of prescriptions dispensed.

Findings
- The number of antidepressant prescriptions dispensed each year in England doubled between 2008 and 2018
- Survey data show that the proportion of adults reporting use of antidepressants in the past year increased in the 1990s, and again between 2007 and 2014
- The average length of time that antidepressants are continuously prescribed to people for has increased over time.
- Some types of antidepressants (for example, tricyclics and other antidepressants) tend to be prescribed for longer periods than other types (such as SSRIs).
- In 2014, one in twelve prescribing periods for tricyclics and other antidepressants lasted for three years or more

Methods
The analyses in this report are descriptive and show the overall prevalence of long-term prescribing in each year.

We used a sample of around 50,000 patients prescribed at least one antidepressant medicine between 2000 and 2017. This was drawn from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD). The CPRD contains data about prescriptions issued by GPs (including the length and size of prescription) and characteristics of the patients prescribed to (such as their age, sex, and area where they live). Medicines were grouped for analysis into: tricyclics, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and other ADMs. The length of individual prescriptions and continuous prescribing periods were derived using information on consultation dates, the quantity of tablets prescribed, and the numeric daily dose.

Publication Type: Report
Publisher Keywords: Prescribing; Dependence; CPRD; Primary care
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Departments: School of Health Sciences
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2020 10:28
URI: https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/23651
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