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Pharmacopsychiatry. 2004 Jan;37(1):12-7.

Patterns of antipsychotic utilization in a tertiary care psychiatric institution.

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  • 1Division of Research, Riverview Hospital, Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada.



To perform a retrospective survey of discharge medications at a tertiary care psychiatric facility in an attempt to gain insight into, and perhaps an understanding of, the most recent pattern of antipsychotic utilization in patients with a diagnosis not restricted to schizophrenia.


This is a retrospective survey that used the Department of Pharmacy's computer database to obtain relevant discharge information on all non-geriatric patients discharged from Riverview Hospital between 1 January and 31 December 2000. The records of 372 patients met the inclusion criteria and formed the database for the survey.


The results of this survey revealed a relatively high prevalence of antipsychotic polypharmacy (the use of two antipsychotics). Perhaps surprisingly, the highest rate of antipsychotic polypharmacy was found in individuals diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder (49.3%), followed by schizophrenia (44.7%), bipolar disorder (29.9%), and psychosis not otherwise specified (22.5%).


Although antipsychotic polypharmacy is not a new phenomenon in schizophrenia, this study is the first to document its employment among other diagnoses.

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