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Drug Alcohol Rev. 2013 Mar;32(2):218-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1465-3362.2012.00496.x. Epub 2012 Aug 7.

Psychotropic drug use and alcohol drinking in community-dwelling older Australian men: the CHAMP study.

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  • 1Quality Use of Medicines and Pharmacy Research Centre, Sansom Institute, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia.



To explore the association between psychotropic drug use and alcohol drinking in community-dwelling older Australian men.


We conducted a cross-sectional population-based study using baseline data collected between 2005 and 2007 from 1705 participants in the Concord Health and Ageing in Men Project (CHAMP) conducted in Sydney, Australia. All participants were men aged ≥70 years. The prevalence of antidepressant and sedative or anxiolytic drug use was ascertained at clinical examinations and alcohol drinking was self-reported. Logistic regression models were used to compute the unadjusted and adjusted prevalence ratios and 95% confidence intervals for the association between sedative or anxiolytic use and antidepressant use with drinking patterns.


In the study sample, 8.0% used an antidepressant, 5.7% used a sedative or anxiolytic, 33.7% were daily drinkers, 13.9% were binge drinkers, 19.2% were heavy drinkers and 11.0% were problem drinkers. Overall, 27.1% of antidepressant users were daily drinkers and 42.7% of sedative or anxiolytic users were daily drinkers. Sedative or anxiolytic use was associated with daily drinking (prevalence ratio = 1.42; 95% confidence intervals 1.09-1.76) but not with other drinking patterns. The associations between antidepressant use and alcohol drinking were not statistically significant.


Potential psychotropic drug-alcohol interactions were common in older Australian men. Users of sedative or anxiolytic drugs were more likely to engage in daily drinking compared with non-users of sedative or anxiolytic drugs. Clinicians should monitor patients prescribed sedative or anxiolytic drugs for possible adverse events arising from concomitant use with alcohol.

© 2012 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs.

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