International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice ( IF 2.144 ) Pub Date : 2020-05-27 , DOI: 10.1080/13651501.2020.1767788 Nađa P Marić,Sanja Andrić Petrović,Stefan Jerotić,Ivan Ristić,Bojana Savić,Mirjana Zebić,Vuk Vuković,Dubravka Britvić,Olivera Golubović,Marko Jakšić,Katarina Jevđić,Zorica Kolašinac,Nikola Lalović,Jasminka Mirković Ilić,Slavica Nikolić,Čedica Paunović,Zorana Pavlović,Slobodanka Pejović Nikolić,Vukašin Perović,Jelena Popović,Vesna Ranđić Avakumović,Snežana Stojanović,Milan Tatarević,Ivana Živković,Tatjana Voskresenski,Nikolina Jovanović
Introduction: Prescribing trends in maintenance therapy of patients with primary psychotic disorders (PSD) may vary worldwide. Present study aimed to investigate prescription patterns in a sample of outpatients with PSD from Serbia.
Methods: In a sample of 73 PSD outpatients we analysed the rate of antipsychotic polypharmacy and psychotropic polypharmacy, concomitant continual benzodiazepine use, and associations between therapy, psychotic symptoms and quality of life.
Results: Maintenance therapy (median daily dose 321 mg of chlorpromazine equivalents) predominantly consisted of monotherapy with second generation antipsychotics (45.2%), followed by antipsychotic polypharmacy based on first and second generation combination (25.0%). The median number of psychotropic drugs was 3. Benzodiazepines were continually prescribed to more than 60% of patients (mean daily dose 2.9 ± 2.0 mg lorazepam equivalents). Patients with benzodiazepine use had significantly more psychotropic medications and more antipsychotic polypharmacy, poorer quality of life and more severe psychopathology in comparison to another group.
Conclusion: The present study demonstrated new information regarding the prescription patterns of psychotropic drugs in outpatients with PSD in Serbia, amplified with clinically relevant information. This study also revealed distinct prescription patterns concerning antipsychotic/benzodiazepine polypharmacy. Overall, such findings are likely to contribute to improving clinical practice and care for patients with PSD in general.
Present exploratory research aimed to elucidate trends of antipsychotics polypharmacy and concomitant use of psychotropic medications including benzodiazepines in the maintenance treatment of outpatients with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, amplified with clinically relevant information (symptoms and quality of life).
‘Antipsychotic (AP) polypharmacy’ was defined as concurrent use of more than one AP for at least 1 month; ‘Psychotropic polypharmacy’ was defined as the combination of AP and a different class of psychotropic drugs medication for at least one month.
The median number of prescribed psychotropic drugs was 3 (mean 3.1 ± 1.1) and the average AP daily dose was moderate (median 321 mg of chlorpromazine equivalents). However, the rates of AP polypharmacy (45.2%) and benzodiazepine prescription on a continual basis (>60%) found in our sample could be considered relatively high.
Outpatients with higher AP daily dose and higher BPRS symptom score were receiving more benzodiazepines.
For improvement of the local, as well as general clinical practice and care for patients with psychotic disorders, and for education in psychiatry, such analyses need to be done on a regular basis and on larger samples.