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Res Dev Disabil. 2004 Nov-Dec;25(6):509-21.

Psychotropic medication in adults with mental retardation: prevalence, and prescription practices.

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Habiliteringstjenesten for Voksne, Hedmark Naeringspark Bygg 15, 2312 Ottestad, Norway.


People with mental retardation comprise an overmedicated population. Studies the last 20 years or so indicate that nearly 50% of people with mental retardation receiving care have been using psychotropic medication, in the treatment of psychiatric disorders and/or problem behaviours. The recent years guidelines for prescription of psychotropics have been developed, emphasizing, e.g. the presence of a diagnosis, consideration of alternatives, and evaluation. In spite of all this, we found that 37% of people with mental retardation in one Norwegian county were using psychotropics, mostly neuroleptics. Moreover, prescriptions frequently violated current guidelines, especially when conducted by general practitioners. For example, a lot of prescriptions had not been indicated by a diagnosis, alternatives to medications had rarely been explored, and evaluation of effects and side effects were exceptions. Psychiatrists complied more with current guidelines. Implications of the findings are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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