To assess what medication information long-term mentally ill patients required and acceptability of an advice service. Confidential consultations were offered by a community pharmacist at two mental health resource centres. The service was evaluated by patients and staff by questionnaire.
Data were collected on 33 consultations (30 users; three attended twice). Mean duration of consultations was 14.9 minutes (range 5–45). Antipsychotics and antidepressants were most commonly prescribed and enquired about. Most drug enquiries concerned adverse drug reactions (n=24) and therapy choice (n=17). All patients and staff hoped the service would be fully implemented.
Community pharmacists represent an acceptable, but underutilised, information provision service. Such a service could be overseen by specialist psychiatric pharmacists. This study reflects patients' concerns about the use of antipsychotics and antidepressants and the need to address them. Further work is needed to determine the impact of the service on clinical outcome.
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