Antipsychotic Prescribing Pathways, Polypharmacy, and Clozapine Use in Treatment of Schizophrenia.

Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.) (Impact Factor: 2.81). 03/2013; DOI: 10.1176/
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE To ensure optimal care for patients with schizophrenia, antipsychotic medications must be appropriately prescribed and used. Therefore, the primary objectives of this study were to identify and describe pathways for antipsychotic prescribing, assess the consistency of observed pathways with treatment guidelines, and describe variability across facilities. METHODS Data from Veterans Affairs administrative data sets from fiscal year (FY) 2003 to FY 2007 were gathered for analysis in this retrospective cohort study of antipsychotic prescribing pathways among 13 facilities across two regional networks. Patients with a new episode of care for schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder in FY 2005 were identified, and antipsychotic prescribing history was obtained for two years before and after the index diagnosis. Demographic characteristics and distribution of comorbidities were assessed. Median medical center rates of polypharmacy were calculated and compared with Fisher's exact test. RESULTS Of 1,923 patients with a new episode of schizophrenia care, 1,003 (52%) had complete data on prescribing pathways. A majority (74%) of patients were prescribed antipsychotic monotherapy, and 19% received antipsychotic polypharmacy. Of patients receiving antipsychotic polypharmacy, 65% began polypharmacy within 90 days of starting any antipsychotic treatment. There was a fourfold difference in polypharmacy across facilities. Antipsychotic polypharmacy was not associated with geographic location or medical center patient volume. Clozapine utilization was low (0%-2%). CONCLUSIONS Retrospective examination of longitudinal prescribing patterns identified multiple antipsychotic prescribing pathways. Although most patients received guideline-concordant care, antipsychotic polypharmacy was commonly used as initial treatment, and there was substantial variability among facilities. Study findings suggest the utility of secondary data to assess treatment adaptation or switching for practical clinical trials.

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    ABSTRACT: Background Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (BD) are psychiatric diseases that are commonly managed with antipsychotics. Treatment pathways are highly variable and no universal treatment guidelines are available. The primary objective of the Italian Burden of Illness in Schizophrenia and BD (IBIS) study was to describe pharmaco-utilisation of antipsychotic treatments and characteristics of patients affected by schizophrenia or BD. A secondary objective was to describe costs of illness for patients with schizophrenia or BD.MethodsIBIS was a multicentre, real-world, retrospective, observational cohort study based on data obtained from administrative databases of 16 Local Health Units in Italy (~7.5 million individuals). Patients with schizophrenia or BD ¿18 years of age treated with antipsychotics between 1 January 2008 and 31 December 2009 were included in the primary analysis. Pharmaco-utilisation data were gathered over a follow-up period of 12 months.ResultsPatients with schizophrenia and BD received a wide variety of antipsychotic medications. The proportion of patients on antipsychotic monotherapy was 68% in patients with schizophrenia and 70% in patients with BD. In patients with schizophrenia, ~1/3 of patients receiving antipsychotic monotherapy also received mood stabilisers and/or antidepressants (34.7%) compared with over half of those on antipsychotic polytherapy (52.2%). In patients with BD, use of mood stabilisers and/or antidepressants was even higher; 76.9% of patients receiving antipsychotic monotherapy also received mood stabilisers and/or antidepressants compared with 85.5% of patients on antipsychotic polytherapy. Switch therapy was more frequent in patients with BD than in patients with schizophrenia, whereas add-on therapy was more frequent in patients with schizophrenia than in patients with BD. The mean total disease-related cost per patient per annum was higher in patients with schizophrenia (¿4,157) than in patients with BD (¿3,301). The number and cost of hospitalisations was higher in patients with BD, whereas the number and cost of nursing home stays was higher in patients with schizophrenia.Conclusion Use of administrative databases has permitted retrieval of comprehensive information about therapeutic pathways, diagnostic history and costs in patients affected by schizophrenia or BD. A need for personalised treatment pathways has been described.Trial NCT01392482; first received June 29, 2011.
    BMC Psychiatry 10/2014; 14(1):282. · 2.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Several second generation antipsychotics (SGAs) received FDA approval for bipolar disorder in the 2000s. Although efficacious, they have been costly and may cause significant side effects. Little is known about the factors associated with prescribers¿ decisions to initiate SGA prescriptions for this condition.Methods We gathered administrative data from the Department of Veterans Affairs on 170,713 patients with bipolar disorder between fiscal years 2003¿2010. Patients without a prior history of taking SGAs were considered eligible for SGA initiation during the study (n =126,556). Generalized estimating equations identified demographic, clinical, and comorbidity variables associated with initiation of an SGA prescription on a month-by-month basis.ResultsWhile the number of patients with bipolar disorder using SGAs nearly doubled between 2003 and 2010, analyses controlling for patient characteristics and the rise in the bipolar population revealed a 1.2% annual decline in SGA initiation during this period. Most medical comorbidities were only modestly associated with overall SGA initiation, although significant differences emerged among individual SGAs. Several markers of patient severity predicted SGA initiation, including previous hospitalizations, psychotic features, and a history of other antimanic prescriptions; these severity markers became less firmly linked to SGA initiation over time. Providers in the South were somewhat more likely to initiate SGA treatment.Conclusions The number of veterans with bipolar disorder prescribed SGAs is rising steadily, but this increase appears primarily driven by a corresponding increase in the bipolar population. Month-by-month analyses revealed that higher illness severity predicted SGA initiation, but that this association may be weakening over time.
    BMC Psychiatry 11/2014; 14(1):339. · 2.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Objective: This study examined the child, parent, and service factors associated with polypharmacy in adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Methods: As part of an online survey examining health service utilization patterns among individuals with ASD, parents provided demographic and clinical information pertaining to their child. This included information on current medication use, as well as information on clinical services received, clinical history, and parent well-being. Analyses examined the bivariate association between individual child, parent, and service variables and polypharmacy. Variables significantly associated with polypharmacy were included in a multiple variable logistic regression. Results: Of the 363 participants sampled, ∼25% were receiving two or more psychotropic drugs concurrently. The patient's psychiatric comorbidity, history of hurting others, therapy use, and parent burden were predictors of polypharmacy. Conclusions: Adolescents and young adults with ASD are a highly medicated population with multiple factors associated with psychotropic polypharmacy. Although there may be circumstances in which polypharmacy is necessary, a richer understanding of what predicts polypharmacy may lead to targeted interventions to better support these individuals and their families. Findings also highlight the need to support families of children with ASD prescribed multiple psychotropic medications.
    Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology 10/2014; · 3.07 Impact Factor