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Use of psychotropic medication in seven English psychiatric intensive care units

  • Steve Brown (a1), Navjyoat Chhina (a2) and Stephen Dye (a3)
Abstract
Aims and method

To describe the psychotropic medication given to 332 patients admitted consecutively to seven English psychiatric intensive care units (PICUs) by prospective, multicentre case-note analysis.

Results

Overall, 104 (32%) patients received rapid tranquillisation or zuclopenthixol acetate by intramuscular injection; 72 (23%) received more than one regular antipsychotic drug simultaneously. It was reported that 20 patients received high-dose antipsychotic medication, which was probably an underestimate. The use of these interventions varied significantly between different units.

Clinical implications

Potentially risky treatments such as forcible intramuscular medication are a standard part of PICU activity. Further work is needed to clarify the reasons behind the differences in prescribing practices between different PICUs.

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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
Steve Brown (Steve.Brown7@nhs.net)
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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1 Department of Health. Mental Health Policy Implementation Guide for National Minimum Standards for General Adult Services in Psychiatric Intensive Care Units (PICU) and Low Secure Environments. Department of Health, 2002.
2 Pereira, S, Dawson, P, Sarsam, M. The National Survey of PICU and Low Secure Services: 1. Patient characteristics. J Psychiatr Intensive Care 2006; 2: 712.
3 Brown, S, Chhina, N, Dye, S. The Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit: a prospective survey of patient demographics and outcomes at seven English PICUs. J Psychiatr Intensive Care 2008; 4: 1727.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 1758-3209
  • EISSN: 1758-3217
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Use of psychotropic medication in seven English psychiatric intensive care units

  • Steve Brown (a1), Navjyoat Chhina (a2) and Stephen Dye (a3)
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