Prescription patterns for psychotropic drugs in cancer patients; a large population study in the Netherlands.
ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Psychotropic drugs are commonly prescribed for various psychological complaints in cancer patients. We aim to examine the prescription pattern in cancer patients of three common psychotropic drugs: benzodiazepine, antidepressant and antipsychotic. METHODS: This is a retrospective case-control study. Data were extracted from the Agis Health Database. This insurance database contains the healthcare consumption of 1.3 million inhabitants of the Netherlands. We analyzed the use of psychotropics in cancer patients and an equally sized randomly selected control group of noncancer patients from 2006 to 2008. Odds ratio (OR) were adjusted for age, gender, immigrant status, neighborhood socio-economic status, and premorbid medical condition. Additionally, the numbers of new user in the 3 months after cancer was diagnosed and in the 3 months before death were compared. RESULTS: A total of 113 887 cancer patients and 121 395 control subjects were included. Cancer patients were significantly more often prescribed psychotropic drugs (adjusted OR: benzodiazepines = 1.70, CI = 1.67-1.74; antidepressants = 1.38, CI = 1.34-1.42; and antipsychotics = 1.70, CI = 1.62-1.77). Lower socio-economic status, immigrant, and premorbid chronic medical conditions were significantly associated with higher risk of psychotropic use. Odds for a new prescription for all three psychotropic drugs were significantly less in the first 3 months after cancer diagnosis than the 3 months before death (benzodiazepine, OR = 0.673, CI = 0.647-0.705; antidepressant, OR = 0.592, CI = 0.544-0.644; antipsychotic, OR = 0.177, CI = 0.165-0.190) CONCLUSIONS: Psychotropic drug prescription is common in cancer patients, starts soon after diagnosis, and increases in the terminal stage. Prescription rates were significantly higher in patients from lower socio-economic group, immigrants, or with premorbid chronic medical condition.Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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ABSTRACT: Abstract At least 25-30% of patients with cancer and an even higher percentage of patients in an advanced phase of illness meet the criteria for a psychiatric diagnosis, including depression, anxiety, stress-related syndromes, adjustment disorders, sleep disorders and delirium. A number of studies have accumulated over the last 35 years on the use of psychotropic drugs as a pillar in the treatment of psychiatric disorders. Major advances in psycho-oncology research have also shown the efficacy of psychotropic drugs as adjuvant treatment of cancer-related symptoms, such as pain, hot flushes, pruritus, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, and cognitive impairment. The knowledge about pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, clinical use, safety, side effects and efficacy of psychotropic drugs in cancer care is essential for an integrated and multidimensional approach to patients treated in different settings, including community-based centres, oncology, and palliative care. A search of the major databases (MEDLINE, Embase, PsycLIT, PsycINFO, the Cochrane Library) was conducted in order to summarize relevant data concerning the efficacy and safety of pharmacotherapy for cancer-related psychiatric disorders in cancer patients across the trajectory of the disease.International Review of Psychiatry 02/2014; 26(1):44-62. DOI:10.3109/09540261.2013.842542 · 1.80 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Depression is common in patients with advanced cancer; however, it is not often recognized and therefore not treated. The aims of this study were to examine the prevalence of the use of antidepressants (ADs) in an international cross-sectional study sample and to identify sociodemographic and medical variables associated with their use. The study was conducted in patients with advanced cancer from 17 centres across eight countries. Healthcare professionals registered patient and disease-related characteristics. A dichotomous score (no/yes) was used to assess the use of ADs other than as adjuvant for pain. Self-report questionnaires from patients were used for the assessment of functioning and symptom intensity. Of 1051 patient records with complete data on ADs, 1048 were included (M:540/F:508, mean age 62 years, standard deviation [SD] 12). The majority were inpatients, and 85% had metastatic disease. The prevalence of AD use was 14%. Multivariate logistic regression analyses showed that younger age (odds ratio [OR] 2.46; confidence interval [CI] 1.32-4.55), female gender (OR 1.59; CI 1.09-2.33), current medication for pain (OR 2.68; CI 1.65-4.33) and presence of three or more co-morbidities (OR 4.74; CI 2.27-9.91) were associated with AD use for reasons other than pain. Disease-related variables (diagnoses, stage, Karnofsky Performance Status and survival) were not associated with the use of ADs. Female gender, younger age, analgesic use and multiple co-morbidities were associated with the use of ADs. However, information is still limited on which variables guide physicians in prescribing AD medication. Further longitudinal studies including details on psychiatric and medication history are needed to improve the identification of patients in need of ADs. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.Psycho-Oncology 04/2014; DOI:10.1002/pon.3541 · 4.04 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: It is well known that cancer patients experience lack of sleep, which affects their symptoms and decrease their much needed energy, particularly while undergoing treatment. Insomnia, which is defined as a predominant complaint of dissatisfaction with sleep quantity or quality during different phases of the sleep cycle, could easily affect patients' quality of life and even cancer treatment outcomes. In this article, we review the current research on and treatments for insomnia, as well as explore cancer-related fatigue and its connections to sleep disorders.