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Medicines used in Mental Health – England – Quarterly summary statistics April to June 2023

Published 14 September 2023


Mental health is a key area of the NHS Long Term Plan published in 2019.

This publication aims to describe the prescribing of medicines used to improve mental health in England that are subsequently dispensed in the community. They do not include data on medicines used in secondary care, prisons, or issued by a private prescriber.

The Medicines Used in Mental Health publication is an experimental Official Statistic release.

Key Findings

Between April to June 2023:

There were 22 million antidepressants prescribed to an estimated 6.7 million identified patients. This was a small increase in items and a small decrease in patients compared to the previous quarter, both changes were less than a percentage point.

Prescribing of CNS stimulants and drugs for ADHD items increased by 3.6% over the same period to 710,000 items, with identified patients increasing 5.6% to 200,000. These were the largest changes of all drug groups in this publication.

Drugs for dementia also showed an increase of 1% for both prescribing and number of identified patients.

Hypnotics and anxiolytics saw a 2.4% decrease in prescribed items from the previous quarter and 3.2% fewer identified patients.

Drugs used in psychoses and related disorders showed a decrease in prescribing and identified patients, both of less than 1%.

Resource list

Medicines used in Mental Health - Quarterly summary narrative April to June 2023 (HTML)

Background information and methodology note (HTML)

Pre-release access list (HTML)

Medicines used in Mental Health - Quarterly - prescribing during the COVID-19 pandemic April to June 2023 (HTML)

Changes to these statistics

For this release, we have split the publication into smaller summaries, one for each BNF Section and one for the modelling based on previous prescribing trends. We're interested in any feedback about the publication or these changes, which you can send by using our official statistics feedback survey.


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Contact us

If you have any questions, comments, or would like more information you can email

Responsible statistician: Kirsty Gray