International journal of psychiatry in clinical practice vol:10 issue:4 pages:285-290
Objective. The aim of the present study is two-fold: ( 1) evaluate to what degree antipsychotic prescribing patterns are in accordance with published treatment recommendations; ( 2) gain insight in factors determining guideline adherence or nonadherence. Method. The medication use at first assessment of 1215 psychotic in-patients, participating in a naturalistic prospective follow-up study, was registered. Results. In Belgium, use of novel antipsychotics is frequent (69.4%) in hospitalised schizophrenic patients. In the total sample 57.8% receive only one antipsychotic drug. The majority of patients are treated with drugs of only one antipsychotic drug group, either first-generation antipsychotics (FGA) (27.8%) or second-generation antipsychotics (SGA) (42.3%). Roughly one-quarter of patients combine different types of antipsychotic. Antipsychotic dosing is adequate for the majority of patients, but one-third receive a higher than recommended dose. The use of SGA is influenced by the patients' age and duration of illness. Polypharmacy and the administration of high doses FGA are influenced by symptom severity and illness duration. No clear determinants of SGA overdosing were found. Conclusions. SGA are most frequently used for the treatment for schizophrenic psychosis. Polypharmacy and excessive dosing are still frequently observed and appear influenced by the patient's clinical condition and illness duration. Evidence-based guidelines have not been sufficiently implemented in daily clinical practice yet.