Trends in antipsychotic prescribing in schizophrenia in Auckland
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Objective: This study describes antipsychotic prescribing practices for outpatients with schizophrenia over a 3 year period in two large mental health catchment areas of Auckland. Methods: All community files were reviewed at three time points. Patient characteristics, diagnosis and antipsychotic treatment information were recorded and analysed. Results: Over the three time periods, the number of outpatients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder was stable. There was a marked change in the type of antipsychotic prescribed, with an 18.6% increase in atypical antipsychotics and a decrease in both intramuscular and oral typical antipsychotics. Clozapine was the most commonly prescribed antipsychotic in 2003 (35%). Despite the fact that polypharmacy was relatively low (14.6% in 2003), those receiving more than one antipsychotic had a greater likelihood of being prescribed a higher total daily dose. Conclusions: This study describes a change in antipsychotic prescribing towards recommended practice guidelines for the treatment of schizophrenia over a 3 year period.
Clinical Sciences not elsewhere classified