Current status of antipsychotics use pattern among outpatients with schizophrenia in a tertiary care hospital in Nigeria
Background: Previous studies of the prescription pattern of psychotropic medications in patients with schizophrenia have highlighted a high rate of antipsychotic polypharmacy (APP), but data in Northwest Nigerian are sparse. This study seeks to examine the antipsychotic use patterns, prevalence of antipsychotic polypharmacy and its comparison with recommended guidelines in outpatients with schizophrenia in a tertiary health institution in Northwest Nigeria.
Methods: One hundred and eighty-five outpatients with schizophrenia who have regular records at a tertiary health center in Nigeria were included in the study. Information about their sociodemographic data and medication were recorded through face-to-face interview and relevant information about their drug use patterns was obtained from their medical files.
Results: The mean age was 30.4±10.3 years. Overall, antipsychotic polypharmacy was found in the treatment regimens of 58.4% of the patients. Conventional oral antipsychotics was prevalent, 70.2%. Haloperidol and Trifluoperazine were the prevalent conventional antipsychotics prescribed. The two atypical antipsychotics prescribed were Risperidone and Olanzapine, 8.1% each.
Conclusion: Antipsychotic polypharmacy is a prevalent prescribing practice in the management of patients with schizophrenia. It is prescribed for longer durations compared to other developed countries, indicating a significant discrepancy with treatment guidelines which do not advocate the use of any polypharmacy.