Procyshyn RM, Kennedy NB, Tse G, et al. Antipsychotic polypharmacy: a survey of discharge prescriptions from a tertiary care psychiatric institution

Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia - Vancouver, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Canadian journal of psychiatry. Revue canadienne de psychiatrie (Impact Factor: 2.55). 06/2001; 46(4):334-9.
Source: PubMed


To perform a retrospective survey of discharge medications at a tertiary care psychiatric facility and to assess the incidence of antipsychotic polypharmacy.
This is a retrospective survey that used the Department of Pharmacy's computer database to obtain relevant discharge information on all nongeriatric patients with schizophrenia discharged from Riverview Hospital between November 1, 1996 and October 31, 1998. From a total of 492 eligible patients, 229 met the inclusion criteria and formed the database for the survey.
The main finding of the survey was that 27.5% of our discharged patients diagnosed with schizophrenia left our facility on an antipsychotic polypharmacy regimen. Compared with patients discharged on a single antipsychotic, the pooled data revealed a significantly greater use of anticholinergic agents in those patients prescribed an antipsychotic polypharmacy regimen. Further, of the atypical agents, only risperidone showed a statistically significant reduction in dosage when coprescribed with a second antipsychotic.
Although antipsychotic polypharmacy persists today, as it has over the past 30 years, evidence-based data to support this controversial treatment strategy is lacking. As a result clinicians are relying on their clinical experience, and perhaps intuition, to design antipsychotic polypharmacy treatment protocols. Efforts should be made to replace subjective clinical impression with a more rational approach to antipsychotic polypharmacy--one that is based on pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic understanding of drug action.

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    • "This PD imposes great cost burden on the individual and society. The prevalence of antipsychotic polypharmacy has been reported to be between 13 and 70%.[49101112] Despite advantages or disadvantages of antipsychotic polypharmacy, it increases treatment costs at a time of increasing budget constraints.[4121314151617] "
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    ABSTRACT: Antipsychotic monotherapy or polypharmacy (concurrent use of two or more antipsychotics) are used for treating patients with psychiatric disorders (PDs). Usually, antipsychotic monotherapy has a lower cost than polypharmacy. This study aimed to predict the cost of antipsychotic medications (AM) of psychiatric patients in Iran. For this purpose, 790 patients with PDs who were discharged between June and September 2010 were selected from Razi Psychiatric Hospital, Tehran, Iran. For cost prediction of AM of PD, neural network (NN) and multiple linear regression (MLR) models were used. Analysis of data was performed with R 2.15.1 software. Mean ± standard deviation (SD) of the duration of hospitalization (days) in patients who were on monotherapy and polypharmacy was 31.19 ± 15.55 and 36.69 ± 15.93, respectively (P < 0.001). Mean and median costs of medication for monotherapy (n = 507) were $8.25 and $6.23 and for polypharmacy (n =192) were $13.30 and $9.48, respectively (P = 0.001). The important variables for cost prediction of AM were duration of hospitalization, type of treatment, and type of psychiatric ward in the MLR model, and duration of hospitalization, type of diagnosed disorder, type of treatment, age, Chlorpromazine dosage, and duration of disorder in the NN model. Our findings showed that the artificial NN (ANN) model can be used as a flexible model for cost prediction of AM.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · Journal of research in medical sciences
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    • "A study in South Africa reported a prevalence of 28.6% of antipsychotic polypharmacy while a study in Nigeria reported a prevalence of 92% of antipsychotic combination [15,16]. Studies in USA and Canada reported prevalence of antipsychotic combination similar to that in South Africa (27.5% and 25.7% respectively) [17,18]. Reports in Asia also showed low (< 31%) prevalence of antipsychotic combination [19,20]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Analysis of the prescribing patterns of antipsychotic drugs can improve therapeutic outcomes. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prescribing pattern of antipsychotics and its conformance to international treatment guidelines. A cross sectional study at primary psychiatric centers was carried out. Patients' medical files were used to obtain demographic, medication and clinical information. International guidelines for schizophrenia were used to create conformance indicators. All statistical analyses were conducted using Statistical Package for Social Sciences. 250 patients were included in this study. A total of 406 antipsychotic agents were used; 348 (85.7%) were first generation antipsychotics (FGA). The prevalence of antipsychotic combination was 50.4% (n=126). There was no significant difference in positive (p=0.3), negative (p=0.06) and psychopathology (p=0.5) scores of schizophrenia symptoms among patients on monotherapy versus those on antipsychotic combination. Furthermore, no significant difference was observed in the annual cost of antipsychotic monotherapy versus combination therapy. One hundred and five patients (42%) were using optimum dose of (300 -- 600 mg CPZeq) while the remaining were using sub or supra therapeutic doses. Analysis showed that use of depot, use of anticholinergic agents and increasing amount of total CPZeq were significant factors associated with antipsychotic combination. This study indicated that antipsychotic prescribing was not in conformance with international guidelines with respect to maintenance dose and combination therapy. Type of antipsychotic treatment regimen, combination versus monotherapy, was not associated with better clinical or economic outcome.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · BMC Psychiatry
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    • "Moreover, the fact that cross-sectional studies and those with shorter follow-up tended to have higher APP rates, suggests that at least some of the APP was either part of cross-titration or transient. The higher use of anticholinergics, found in multiple studies of APP (Chakos et al., 2006; Florez Menendez et al., 2004; Ganguly et al., 2004; Hong and Bishop, 2010; Kreyenbuhl et al., 2007b; Procyshyn et al., 2001; Sim et al., 2004), indicates that clinicians run the risk of inducing clinically relevant EPS in patients treated with APP. The association of peripherally measured anticholinergic medication load with impaired learning during cognitive remediation (Vinogradov et al., 2009) calls into question the benefits of treating patients with APP above the EPS threshold, followed by anticholinergic use. "
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    ABSTRACT: To assess the prevalence and correlates of antipsychotic polypharmacy (APP) across decades and regions. Electronic PubMed/Google Scholar search for studies reporting on APP, published from 1970 to 05/2009. Median rates and interquartile ranges (IQR) were calculated and compared using non-parametric tests. Demographic and clinical variables were tested as correlates of APP in bivariate and meta-regression analyses. Across 147 studies (1,418,163 participants, 82.9% diagnosed with schizophrenia [IQR=42-100%]), the median APP rate was 19.6% (IQR=12.9-35.0%). Most common combinations included first-generation antipsychotics (FGAs)+second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) (42.4%, IQR=0.0-71.4%) followed by FGAs+FGAs (19.6%, IQR=0.0-100%) and SGAs+SGAs (1.8%, IQR=0.0-28%). APP rates were not different between decades (1970-1979:28.8%, IQR=7.5-44%; 1980-1989:17.6%, IQR=10.8-38.2; 1990-1999:22.0%, IQR=11-40; 2000-2009:19.2% IQR=14.4-29.9, p=0.78), but between regions, being higher in Asia and Europe than North America, and in Asia than Oceania (p<0.001). APP increased numerically by 34% in North America from the 1980s 12.7%) to 2000s (17.0%) (p=0.94) and decreased significantly by 65% from 1980 (55.5%) to 2000 (19.2%) in Asia (p=0.03), with non-significant changes in Europe. APP was associated with inpatient status (p<0.001), use of FGAs (p<0.0001) and anticholinergics (<0.001), schizophrenia (p=0.01), less antidepressant use (p=0.02), greater LAIs use (p=0.04), shorter follow-up (p=0.001) and cross-sectional vs. longitudinal study design (p=0.03). In a meta-regression, inpatient status (p<0.0001), FGA use (0.046), and schizophrenia diagnosis (p=0.004) independently predicted APP (N=66, R(2)=0.44, p<0.0001). APP is common with different rates and time trends by region over the last four decades. APP is associated with greater anticholinergic requirement, shorter observation time, greater illness severity and lower antidepressant use.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2012 · Schizophrenia Research
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