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Hum Psychopharmacol. 2010 Mar;25(2):179-86. doi: 10.1002/hup.1095.

Changes in medication practices for hospitalized psychiatric patients: 2009 versus 2004.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

We tested the hypothesis that combinations and total daily doses of psychotropics for hospitalized patients diagnosed with major psychiatric disorders are rising.

METHODS:

We evaluated McLean Hospital records of 481 consecutive inpatients with DSM-IV schizophrenia, schizoaffective, or bipolar disorders in 2004 (n = 278) or 2009 (n = 203) to compare characteristics and treatments.

RESULTS:

In 2009, Clinical Global Impression (CGI)-severity scores were 6% lower at intake and improved 1.7 times more than in 2004, as hospitalization-length decreased by 12%. Polytherapy (> or = 2 psychotropics) increased in 2009 (affective or schizoaffective disorders > schizophrenia). Total psychotropics/patient (3.1-3.2) remained stable but mood-stabilizers/patient increased markedly and antipsychotics/patient decreased somewhat in 2009. Antipsychotic-choice (2009) ranked: quetiapine, aripiprazole, risperidone, and others; mood-stabilizers ranked: lamotrigine, valproate, lithium, and others (1/4 off-label). In 2009, final total antipsychotic doses (mg/day) increased by 97%, and mood-stabilizers by 75%. Adverse-effect rates fell by half. Factors differing independently for 2009 versus 2004 ranked: (a) more CGI improvement, (b) more mood-stabilizers/patient, (c) lower admission CGI scores, and (c) higher total antipsychotic dose.

COMMENT:

Combinations and doses of antipsychotic and mood-stabilizing drugs for inpatients increased markedly (2004 vs. 2009) without consistent correspondence of agents/person and doses, without apparent increase in major adverse effects, and with possibly superior clinical improvement.

PMID:
20196186
DOI:
10.1002/hup.1095
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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