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Hum Psychopharmacol. 2005 Jul;20(5):355-8.

Antipsychotic drug use: McLean Hospital, 2002.

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Department of Psychiatry and Neuroscience Program, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.



Major changes in antipsychotic treatment in recent years encouraged a survey of inpatient practice in 2002, compared with earlier samples.


Based on records of a random sample of McLean Hospital inpatients prescribed antipsychotics in 2002, the study recorded DSM-IV discharge diagnosis, all psychotropic treatments and doses, initial, peak and final doses of all antipsychotics, clinical status at admission and discharge, and adverse effects reported. Results were compared with similar data from our earlier surveys.


Subjects were 344 inpatients (n = 202 women, 59%), diagnosed with psychotic (n = 102, 30%), bipolar (n = 93, 27%), major depressive (n = 67, 19.5%), dementia (n = 19, 5.5%), substance-use (n = 28, 8%) or other psychiatric disorders (n = 35, 10%). Second-generation antipsychotics accounted for 88% of antipsychotic prescriptions; 17% of patients received > or = 2 antipsychotics and total CPZ-eq discharge does in 2002 averaged 291 +/- 305 mg/day (22% less than a 1998 peak). Doses were unrelated to age, but higher in men, among psychotic vs major affective disorder patients, and with greater illness-severity and longer hospitalization. There was a 3.3-fold increase in the simultaneous use of > or = 3 psychotropic agents since 1998.


The use of second-generation antipsychotics dominates current inpatient practice. Total antipsychotic dosing has not increased recently, but the use of multiple psychotropics increased strikingly from 1998 to 2002.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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