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Psychiatr Danub. 2012 Jun;24(2):182-7.

Psychiatrists' psychotropic drug prescription preferences for themselves or their family members.

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  • 1Clinic for Psychiatry, Clinical Center of Serbia, Pasterova 2, 11 000 Belgrade, Serbia.



Psychiatrists' preference for certain medications is not only determined by their efficacy and side effect profile but may also depend on the psychiatrists' beliefs about specific therapeutic effects based on their own observation and experience. We aimed to evaluate which antipsychotic or antidepressant drugs psychiatrists would prefer for themselves, their partners and children in case of a mental illness.


The study was conducted among psychiatrists in Serbia. The sample consisted of 90 psychiatrists who were asked to complete the questionnaire about their drug selection in hypothetical situations of becoming ill with schizophrenia or depression or these conditions occurring in their partners and children.


In case of schizophrenia, risperidone was the first choice made by most psychiatrists for themselves, their partners or children, followed by clozapine, haloperidol and olanzapine. In case of depression, SSRIs and SNRIs were generally favored, with sertraline and escitalopram being the preferred medications for psychiatrists, partners and their children. With regards to depression, 82.3% of participants would opt for an antidepressant as monotherapy or in combination, but 13.3% would opt for anxiolytic monotherapy. The preferred doses were slightly lower than the recommended ones, especially for antipsychotic agents.


Most psychiatrists would take or administer atypical antipsychotics or SSRIs as the first choice for themselves, their partners or children. These preferences are mostly in accordance with current treatment guidelines, but there is still room to narrow the gap between guideline recommendations and psychiatrists' medication choices in personally meaningful situations.

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