Background: The analysis of prescribing patterns in entire catchment areas contributes to global mapping of the use of antipsychotics and may improve treatment outcomes. Objective To determine the pattern of long-term antipsychotic prescription in outpatients with schizophrenia in the province of Tarragona (Catalonia-Spain). Methods: A naturalistic, observational, retrospective, non-interventional study based on the analysis of registries of computerized medical records from an anonymized database of 1,765 patients with schizophrenia treated between 2011 and 2013. Results: The most used antipsychotic was risperidone, identified in 463 (26.3%) patients, followed by olanzapine in 249 (14.1%), paliperidone in 225 (12.7%), zuclopenthixol in 201 (11.4%), quetiapine in 141 (8%), aripiprazole in 100 (5.7%), and clozapine in 100 (5.7%). Almost 8 out of 10 patients (79.3%) were treated with atypical or second-generation antipsychotics. Long-acting injectable (LAI) formulations were used in 44.8% of patients. Antipsychotics were generally prescribed in their recommended doses, with clozapine, ziprasidone, LAI paliperidone, and LAI risperidone being prescribed at the higher end of their therapeutic ranges. Almost 7 out of 10 patients (69.6%) were on antipsychotic polypharmacy, and 81.4% were on psychiatric medications aside from antipsychotics. Being prescribed quetiapine (OR 14.24, 95% CI 4.94-40.97), LAI (OR 9.99, 95% CI 6.45-15.45), psychiatric co-medications (OR 4.25, 95% CI 2.72-6.64), and paliperidone (OR 3.13, 95% CI 1.23-7.92) were all associated with an increased likelihood of polypharmacy. Being prescribed risperidone (OR 0.54, 95% CI 0.35-0.83) and older age (OR 0.98, 95% CI 0.97-0.99) were related to a low polypharmacy probability. Conclusions: Polypharmacy is the most common pattern of antipsychotic use in this region of Spain. Use of atypical antipsychotics is extensive. Most patients receive psychiatric co-medications such as anxiolytics or antidepressants. Polypharmacy is associated with the use of quetiapine or paliperidone, use of a LAI, younger age, and psychiatric co-medication.
Gaviria, A. M., Franco, J. G., Aguado, V., Rico, G., Labad, J., De Pablo, J., & Vilella, E. (2015). A non-interventional naturalistic study of the prescription patterns of antipsychotics in patients with schizophrenia from the Spanish province of Tarragona. PLoS ONE, 10(10). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0139403