The ways of using antipsychotic drugs have greatly changed over the last 10 years. The aim of this study was to evaluate such changes in psychiatric patients admitted to the Psychiatric Department of Milan's Ospedale Maggiore in 1989 ( n = 350), 1999 ( n = 718) and 2002 ( n = 628). The medical records of the hospitalized patients were evaluated by analyzing the anamnestic and clinical data with particular reference to age, gender, diagnosis and medication use. In 2002, atypical antipsychotics were more frequently prescribed as monotherapy upon discharge than typical antipsychotics (32.64% vs. 30.10%). Combinations of two or more antipsychotic drugs were prescribed upon discharge for 20.63% of the patients in 1989, 31.24% in 1999 and 23.09% in 2002. The combinations of one typical and one atypical drug increased from 4.04% in 1999 to 13.06% in 2002. The mean (± S.D.) daily antipsychotic drug dose (expressed in chlorpromazine equivalents) was significantly higher in 2002 than in 1999 and 1989. The results of this study confirm the trend to use combinations of one typical and one atypical antipsychotic, and higher doses.
Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry – Elsevier
Published: Jul 1, 2005
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