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Concerns over anti-depressant prescriptions for children

child abuse claims

A shocking number of anti-depressant prescriptions for children has been revealed. It has been said that 1,572 infants were prescribed anti-depressants to stabilise their moods between 2015 and 2019, which is a cause for concern.

This is an astonishing statistic considering that the NHS guidance recommends not prescribing under-18’s anti-depressants. Whilst this kind of medication can be vital for those who need it, it is concerning to learn so much use of the drug is taking place for children.

Whilst medical advice must always take precedence, we must not end up in a situation where there is an over-reliance on such medication that could have an adverse effect on children. We have seen such instances where an over-reliance on prescriptions has caused widespread problems, and this is a situation that must be avoided at all costs.

Anti-depressant prescriptions for children on the NHS

New figures from the NHS, as covered in the Daily Mirror, have revealed that, in the four years between 2015 and 2019, anti-depressant prescriptions for children had been issued to 1,572 under 5-year olds.

A breakdown of the figures shows that  prescriptions were issued as follows: 703 prescriptions for one-year-olds; 188 for two-year-olds; 285 for three-year-olds; 381 for four-year-olds; and 718 for five-year-olds. They were all put on anti-depressants, according to the media reports. For 11-year-olds, the figures rose to an astonishing 6,000 prescriptions, with 91,000 for 16-year olds.

The official NHS guidance says anti-depressants are not recommended for under 18’s. This is because, in some cases, the use of anti-depressant prescriptions for children can trigger thoughts of suicide and self-harm at this age. There have also been fears that anti-depressants prescriptions for children could also stunt brain development as well, according to the media reports.

Why we are concerned

We are specialist personal injury lawyers who represent people for serious medical negligence claims. Our concern is that children could be harmed due to long-term possible effects where anti-depressants are presented as the solution in the absence of alternative treatment.

If anyone is ever harmed as a result of negligence then we, as specialist lawyers, need to step in and help. Given the volumes presented in the data above, we are concerned as to whether any children are being unnecessarily harmed. There are clear schools of thought from medical professionals who say that this could be the case.

About The Injury Lawyers

The Injury Lawyers is a specialist law firm representing people for personal injury claims. If you think that you have a potential claim, our team is happy to offer free and no-obligation advice.

If you think that you might have a personal injury claim, or that someone in your care does, we are happy to see if we can be of assistance at all. Just request a call back here and we can see if we are able to offer you with our genuine No Win, No Fee support.

Our team is always happy to help so do not hesitate to get in touch – we are usually open from 9am to 5pm on most weekdays, and 9am to 5pm on most weekends; to be as accessible as we can for you. For medical negligence compensation cases, we have a dedicated team that fights for the rights of anyone who has been the victim of negligence arising from treatment, advice and procedures.

IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.

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