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Benzo Bulletin is a Benzodiazepine Information Coalition series highlighting some of the latest benzodiazepine-related information.

From the Irish Examiner:

Irish pharmacists are dispensing an increasing number of antidepressants, mood stabilisers, and tranquillisers, with close to 5m such prescriptions dispensed in the first eight months of this year.

Almost 4,794,000 prescriptions for antidepressants, mood stabilisers, and tranquillisers were dispensed between January and August — 15% more than the same period in 2019, when some 4,173,00 such prescriptions were filled.

Figures collected by Health Market Research Ireland for the Irish Pharmacy Union reveal pharmacists are dispensing a growing number of antidepressants, mood stabilisers, and tranquillisers since the onset of Covid-19.

In 2020, pharmacists dispensed close to 7m drugs used to treat a range of mental health disorders, including anxiety and depression — almost 7% more than they did in 2019.

This year has seen month-on-month growth in the number of such prescriptions filled, with the highest monthly growth occurring in June, when 602,959 drugs of this class were dispensed, 9.3% more than the quantity dispensed in the same month in 2020, and 21.5% more than in June 2019.

The slowest monthly growth occurred in January, but this was still 6% up on the quantity dispensed in January 2020 and almost 9% up on the number dispensed in January 2019.

Read Pharmacists see 15% rise in prescriptions for antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs HERE

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