Antipsychotic use in Australia: the patients' perspective

David Castle, Vera Morgan, Assen Jablensky

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    43 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objective: To describe patterns of self-reported medication use in a population-based sample of people with psychotic disorders; to establish correlates with clinical variables; to determine perceived side-effect burden; and investigate patient perception of efficacy for different classes of antipsychotic agent.Methods: Using the Australian Low Prevalence (Psychosis) Study database we analysed patterns of psychotropic medication and examined their clinical correlates. We also determined rates of reported side-effects and perceived benefit or otherwise associated with the different antipsychotic drugs.Results: Of the 1126 persons interviewed, 88.6% were on psychotropic medication; 54.3% were using 'typical' antipsychotics (24.8% in depot form), while 8.3% were on clozapine, 13.3% on risperidone, and 8.8% on olanzapine. Around 30% of women, and 20% of men, were on mood stabilizers or antidepressants. Over half of respondents were on more than one agent. Of those on only one agent, nearly 80% reported at least one side-effect; the mean number of side-effects was 3.9 for typical antipsychotics, and 3.3 for atypicals. Atypicals, notably clozapine, tended to be rated by patients as more efficacious than typicals; depot preparations, in particular, tended to be seen as unhelpful, and were associated with a higher side-effect burden.Conclusions: This study presents an insight into patients' perception of efficacy and side-effects of antipsychotic medications. The findings have implications for clinicians, and can inform treatment options in people with psychotic disorders.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)633-641
    JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
    Volume36
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2002

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