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Polypharmacy and high-dose antipsychotics at the time of discharge from acute psychiatric wards

  • Tongeji E. Tungaraza (a1), Uzma Zahid (a1) and Bhanumurthy Venkataramaiah (a1)
Abstract
Aims and method

To determine the extent of prescribed antipsychotic polypharmacy and high-dose antipsychotics at the time of discharge from an acute psychiatric ward. Copies of discharge summaries for patients between the ages of 18 and 65 were examined; only those that had antipsychotic medications at the time of discharge were included. Names and doses of antipsychotics and all other medications concurrently prescribed were recorded.

Results

A total of 651 discharge summaries were included in the study. Nearly a quarter of individuals were discharged on one antipsychotic as the only medication to take home; only 6.8% were discharged on a high-dose antipsychotic and of those on combinations 59.6% were on depot medications. Combining antipsychotics significantly predicted the use of high dose.

Clinical implications

Most patients were discharged on doses of antipsychotics within the British National Formulary limits; however, a small proportion is still sent home on high doses of antipsychotics. Combining antipsychotics remains the strongest predictor of high-dose antipsychotic use; clinicians need to be aware of this.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Tongeji E. Tungaraza (eliphaz@doctors.org.uk)
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

T.T. has received speaker's fees from Bristol-Myers-Squibb. He has accepted honoraria from a number of pharmaceutical companies. No funding was solicited for this study.

Footnotes
References
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Polypharmacy and high-dose antipsychotics at the time of discharge from acute psychiatric wards

  • Tongeji E. Tungaraza (a1), Uzma Zahid (a1) and Bhanumurthy Venkataramaiah (a1)
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