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Medicines Used in Mental Health – England – Quarterly Summary Statistics July to September 2021

Published 9 December 2021


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.

This is an experimental Official Statistics release.

Key findings

Between July to September 2021:

  • there were 20.8 million antidepressant drugs prescribed, a 1.28% increase from 20.5 million items in the previous quarter, and a 6.15% increase from 19.6 million items for the same quarter in 2020/21.
  • for the second quarter running, drugs for dementia showed an upward trend. In the second quarter of 2021/22 there were 1.02 million drugs for dementia prescribed, a 2.53% increase from 997,000 items in the previous quarter. This is also a 1.84% increase from 1.00 million items in the same quarter in 2020/21.

In the 19-month period since the implementation of lockdown measures during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, between March 2020 and September 2021:

  • there were 1.54 million more antidepressant prescription items issued than expected based on historical trends. However, this was not a statistically significant increase for the period.
  • there were 606,000 fewer drugs for dementia prescription items issued than expected based on historical trends. This was a statistically significant decrease for the period.

Resource list

Medicines used in Mental Health - Quarterly summary narrative July to September 2021 (HTML)

Supporting summary tables (Excel: 89KB)

Background information and methodology note (PDF: 232KB)

User engagement strategy (PDF: 191KB)

Pre-release access list (PDF: 239KB)


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Responsible statistician: Graham Platten