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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 45 (2003) 2, 67 - 74

New research

Antipsychotic drugs and psychotropic comedication at a long-stay ward

C.A.W. Rijcken, C.M.J. Groot-Zevert, C.J. Slooff, L.T.W. de Jong-van den Berg

background  Polypharmacy at in-patient services may consist of either concomitant use of several antipsychotic drugs or of concurrent use of different types of psychotropic drugs. Prevalence figures of concomitant psychotropic drug use beside atypical antipsychotic treatment are scarce.
aim  Investigation of concomitant psychotropic drug use at a long-stay ward for adult schizophrenia patients.
method  For 71 adult subjects of a long-stay ward we performed three cross-sectional inventories of psychotropic drug use (1998, 1999, 2000), using both medical records and a prescription database. Antipsychotic doses were calculated using Defined Daily Doses and were stratified to classic or atypical. Per stratum concomitant benzodiazepine and antidepressant use was determined.
result  More than 80 % of our subjects had a diagnosis in the schizophrenia spectrum. During the study period we could not establish differences in distribution between classic and atypical antipsychotic use (both 40%). Dosages of classic antipsychotics were significantly lower compared to atypical drugs. Anticholinergics were significantly more often used together with classic antipsychotics. Antidepressant comedication occurred less often with atypical antipsychotic treatment, while benzodiazepine use was seen to the same extent (50 - 60%) with both types of antipsychotics.
conclusions Polypharmacy with psychotropic comedication at a long-stay ward occurs equally with classic and atypical antipsychotic drug use.



keywords antipsychotic, polypharmacy, psychopharmacologic drugs, schizophrenia