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A Journal on Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychopharmacology
Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, e-psyche, PsycINFO, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Minerva Psichiatrica 2003 June;44(2):91-6
Drug prescription in a mental health centre
Pellegrino F., Mennella R., Malangone C., Del Buono G., Forte M.
Background. The actual use of psychotropic drugs in day-to-day clinical practice is examined to determine whether such use differs from the guidelines suggested in the literature. The findings will serve as a starting-point to introduce any necessary improvements, as well as providing an opportunity to reflect on the applicability to clinical practice of data relating to drug use from controlled studies.
Methods. The transversal study entailed reviewing the medical records of 377 patients evaluated regularly over the last three years.
Results. Multi-drug treatment was found to be in frequent use; there was also large-scale use of SSRIs and constant use of the benzodiazepines. Mood stabilizers were under-utilised and antipsychotics were prescribed in a non-selective fashion. The implications of these prescriptive practices are discussed.
Conclusions. It is possible to introduce research methods into clinical practice that provide comparison with guidelines and with the results of experimental studies, as well as offering an opportunity to reflect on current practice so as to point up any problematic areas that could be subject to improvement.