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Pharmacoepidemiology Related Abstracts

1 Factors Influencing Antipsychotic Drug Usage and Substitution among Nigerian Schizophrenic Patients

Authors: Ubaka Chukwuemeka Michael, Ukwe Chinwe Victoria

Abstract:

Background: The use of antipsychotic monotherapy remains the standard for schizophrenic disorders so also a prescription switch from older typical to newer atypical classes of antipsychotics on the basis of better efficacy and tolerability. However, surveys on the quality of antipsychotic drug use and substitution in developing countries are very scarce. This study was intended to evaluate quality and factors that drive the prescription and substitution of antipsychotic drugs among schizophrenic patients visiting a regional psychiatric hospital. Methods: Case files of patients visiting a federal government funded Neuropsychiatric Hospital between July 2012 and July 2014 were systematically retrieved. Patient demographic characteristics, clinical details and drug management data were collected and subjected to descriptive and inferential data analysis to determine quality and predictors of utilization. Results: Of the 600 case files used, there were more male patients (55.3%) with an overall mean age of 33.7±14.4 years. Typical antipsychotic agents accounted for over 85% of prescriptions, with majority of the patients receiving more than 2 drugs in at least a visit (80.9%). Fluphenazine (25.2%) and Haloperidol (18.8%) were mostly given as antipsychotics for treatment initiation while Olazenpine (23.0%) and Benzhexol (18.3%) were the most currently prescribed antipsychotics. Nearly half (42%, 252/600) of these patients were switched from one class to another, with 34.5% (207/600) of them switched from typical to atypical drug classes. No demographic or clinical factors influenced drug substitutions but a younger age and being married influenced being prescribed a polypharmacy regimen (more than 2 drugs) and an injectable antipsychotic agent. Conclusion: The prevalence of antipsychotic polypharmacy and use of typical agents among these patients was high. However, only age and marital status affected the quality of antipsychotic prescriptions among these patients.

Keywords: Pharmacoepidemiology, Polypharmacy, antipsychotics, drug substitution

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