Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Dr Shahira Abdullah
Question No. 1692
To ask the Minister for Health (a) whether there are any statistics on the amount of anti-depressants prescribed annually to patients under 21 years old; (b) what is the medical protocol and considerations for dispensing anti-depressants to patients under 21 years old to mitigate the known risks associated with the use of antidepressants; and (c) how are patients or caregivers alerted to the risks and the required supervision in the use of anti-depressants.
Based on our national public health records, there were 4,535 patients in 2019 compared with 4,763 patients in 2020.
Patients under 21 years old and/or their caregivers are counselled prior to the start of treatment. This is conducted by healthcare professionals, such as doctors and pharmacists and the counselling may include the purpose, the common side effects, the monitoring and safe use of the antidepressants being dispensed. Information leaflets may also be used. Recommendations would also include how and when to seek further medical help.