Antipsychotic and Anticholinergic Drug Prescribing Pattern in Psychiatry: Extent of Evidence-Based Practice in Bahrain

DOI: 10.4236/pp.2012.34055   PDF   HTML     5,595 Downloads   9,275 Views   Citations


The aim of this study is to determine the antipsychotic prescribing pattern and the prevalence of concurrent anticholinergic prescribing in a psychiatric referral hospital. A retrospective audit of prescriptions issued for outpatients was carried out at the Psychiatric Hospital, the only facility that provides psychiatric services for both inpatients and outpatients in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Antipsychotic monotherapy was prescribed for 89.2% patients, whereas polytherapy with two- and three-drugs in 10.4 and 0.4%, respectively. Atypical antipsychotics were prescribed more often (67.7%) than typical antipsychotics. Risperidone and haloperidol were the most frequently prescribed antipsychotics. Long-acting risperidone injection was the only depot preparation prescribed. The mean antipsychotic dose expressed as chlorpromazine equivalent (CPZeq; mg/day) was 242 (220 for monotherapy and 414 for polytherapy). The prevalence of high dose antipsychotic (mean CPZeq > 1000 mg/day) was 1.8%, prescribed at a mean CPZeq dose of 1531 (1925 for monotherapy and 1137 for polytherapy), mainly attributed to haloperidol. Anticholinergics were co-prescribed for almost two third of patients receiving antipsychotics, particularly for those on polytherapy (monotherapy 57.3%; poly-therapy 87.5%). Antipsychotic polytherapy, high dose and co-prescription of an oral with a depot antipsychotic preparation were strongly associated with concurrent prescription of anticholinergics. Procyclidine and orphenadrine were the most often prescribed anticholinergics. In Bahrain, antipsychotic monotherapy is a common practice for outpatients with psychotic disorders. Some of the antipsychotic polytherapies, dosage strategies, and high prevalence of anticholinergic use are therapeutic issues that need to be addressed to foster evidence-based prescribing practice.

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K. Khaja, M. Al-Haddad, R. Sequeira and A. Al-Offi, "Antipsychotic and Anticholinergic Drug Prescribing Pattern in Psychiatry: Extent of Evidence-Based Practice in Bahrain," Pharmacology & Pharmacy, Vol. 3 No. 4, 2012, pp. 409-416. doi: 10.4236/pp.2012.34055.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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