Author(s): LermaCarrillo I, de Pablo Brhlmann S, del Pozo ML, PascualPinazo F, Molina JD,
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Abstract INTRODUCTION: Antipsychotic monotherapy is considered the gold standard in pharmacological treatment of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. Only 2 of the main clinical guides recommend the use of antipsychotic polypharmacy (AP) for those patients refractory to monotherapy. Nonetheless, there is a large rate of studies, conducted in many different settings, showing that AP is more frequent as would be expected attending experts' recommendations. METHODS: In this retrospective study, we review all the psychotropic drugs dispensed to inpatients of a brief hospitalization psychiatric unit diagnosed as having schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder (International Statistical Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision) at time of discharge in the year 2005. These included a total of 209 patients older than 18 years. RESULTS: Of the 209 studied patients, 55.5\% were discharged under AP treatment. Inpatients were given a mean of 3.06 psychotropic drugs and a mean of 1.61 antipsychotics at the time of hospital discharge. A total of 33.2\% of the studied patients got anticholinergic drugs, and 66.2\% were given benzodiazepines. The most prevalent combination of drugs was intramuscular long-acting risperidone plus an atypical antipsychotic. Amisulpride was the most used antipsychotic as adjuvant treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Despite different clinical guidelines, AP is a common pharmacological strategy as it is shown in our study and in the reviewed literature. Data in our study indicate that the observed rates of AP cannot exclusively be attributed to the treatment of patients with clozapine-resistant schizophrenia.
This article was published in Clin Neuropharmacol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pharmacology