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.
Article: Psychopharmacology in Cancer[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Depression, anxiety, delirium, and other psychiatric symptoms are highly prevalent in the cancer setting, and pharmacological intervention is an important component in the overall psychosocial care of the patient. Psychopharmacology is also used as a primary or adjuvant treatment for the management of cancer-related symptoms stemming from the disease itself and/or its treatment, including sleep disturbance, loss of appetite, neuropathic pain, nausea, fatigue, and hot flashes. Psychiatrists, oncologists, and palliative care physicians working as members of a multidisciplinary team have the opportunity to target multiple symptoms that negatively affect a patient's quality of life with the strategic use of psychotropic medications when deemed appropriate. This article aims to review the indications for use of antidepressants, psychostimulants, anxiolytics, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers in oncology. An updated review of the relevant literature is discussed and referenced in each section.Current Psychiatry Reports 01/2015; 17(1):529. DOI:10.1007/s11920-014-0529-x · 3.05 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 10/2014; 23(10). 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.The Cancer Journal 09/2014; 20(5):299-305. DOI:10.1097/PPO.0000000000000067 · 3.61 Impact Factor