Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

More U.S. patients receive multiple psychotropic medications

Date:
January 5, 2010
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
An increasing number of US adults are being prescribed combinations of antidepressants and antipsychotic medications, according to a new study.

An increasing number of U.S. adults are being prescribed combinations of antidepressants and antipsychotic medications, according to a report in the January issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Related Articles


In some clinical situations, evidence suggests that more than one psychotropic (affecting the brain or mind) medication may be beneficial, according to background information in the article. For instance, a patient with depression who does not respond to one medication alone might require a second antidepressant, or an individual who has depression with psychotic features might respond to a combination of an antidepressant and an antipsychotic. "In routine psychiatric practice, however, patients often receive psychiatric medication combinations that are not well supported by controlled clinical trials," the authors write.

To examine patterns and trends in psychotropic polypharmacy -- or the prescription of more than one psychiatric medication -- Ramin Mojtabai, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., of Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and Mark Olfson, M.D., M.P.H., of Columbia University Medical Center and the New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, analyzed data collected from a national sample of office-based psychiatry practices. The number of medications prescribed and specific medication combinations were assessed from a total of 13,079 office visits to psychiatrists by adults (18 years or older) between 1996 and 2006.

Overall, there was an increase in the number of psychotropic medications prescribed during office visits. Between 1996 to 1997 and 2005 to 2006, the percentage of visits at which two or more medications were prescribed increased from 42.6 percent to 59.8 percent and the percentage of visits at which three or more medications were prescribed increased from 16.9 percent to 33.2 percent. In addition, the median (midpoint) number of medications prescribed at each visit increased from one to two (an average increase of 40.1 percent).

"The increasing trend of psychotropic polypharmacy was mostly similar across visits by different patient groups and persisted after controlling for background characteristics," the authors write. Combinations of antidepressants with sedative-hypnotics were the most common medication combinations overall (23.1 percent), followed by combinations of antidepressants with antipsychotics (12.9 percent) and combinations of two types of antidepressants (12.6 percent).

"While the evidence for added benefit of antipsychotic polypharmacy is limited, there is growing evidence regarding the increased adverse effects associated with such combinations," the authors write. For example, some combinations have resulted in increases in body weight and total cholesterol level, whereas others may be associated with an increase in fasting blood glucose level.

"Because scant data exist to support the efficacy of some of the most common medication combinations, such as antipsychotic combinations or combinations of antidepressants and antipsychotics, prudence suggests that renewed clinical efforts should be made to limit the use of these combinations to clearly justifiable circumstances," the authors conclude. "At the same time, a new generation of research is needed to assess the efficacy, effectiveness and safety of common concomitant medication regimens, especially in patients with multiple disorders or monotherapy-refractory conditions."

Editor's Note: Dr. Mojtabai reports receiving research support and an honorarium from Bristol-Myers Squibb. Dr. Olfson reports receiving research support or honoraria from Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Bristol-Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca and McNeil.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ramin Mojtabai; Mark Olfson. National Trends in Psychotropic Medication Polypharmacy in Office-Based Psychiatry. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 2010; 67 (1): 26-36 [link]

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "More U.S. patients receive multiple psychotropic medications." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100104161748.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2010, January 5). More U.S. patients receive multiple psychotropic medications. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100104161748.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "More U.S. patients receive multiple psychotropic medications." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100104161748.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins