Recent Patterns and Predictors of Antipsychotic Medication Regimens Used to Treat Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders

Published in: Schizophrenia Bulletin, v. 26, no. 2, 2000, p. 451-457

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 1999

by Philip S. Wang, Joyce C. West, Terri Tanielian, Harold Alan Pincus

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Up-to-date data are needed on the types of treatments used by psychiatrists and the reasons for use of particular treatments. Using 1997 American Psychiatric Association (APA) Practice Research Network (PRN) Study data on patients with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, we identified the characteristics of antipsychotic medications (APMs) currently being prescribed and factors associated with the use of particular regimens. In this study population, use of the newer APMs, including risperidone, olanzapine, and clozapine, has increased rapidly and now accounts for over one-half of all APM use. Other intriguing findings include the fact that one-sixth of patients with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders are concurrently treated with two or more APMs. Factors associated with being prescribed one of the newer APMs risperidone or olanzapine include being elderly, having more education, being white, having psychiatric comorbidity, and making fewer recent visits to a psychiatrist. The APA PRN Study data are an important new resource for mental health services researchers.

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