Past Issues

Psychopharmacoepidemiology: Scope and Application

Mian-Yoon Chong, M.D., Ph.D., FRCPsych.

The most common therapeutic intervention in medicine is the writing of a
prescription. It is especially true in psychiatry as pharmacotherapy has become its
mainstay treatment. With over half of the approved drugs having serious adverse
effects that were not detected before the approval, it is therefore important to study
post-marketing drugs in order to ensure the safety of a drug. The benefits and risks
of a psychotropic drug could be studied through using psychopharmacoepidemiological
methods, a science underlying post-marketing drug surveillance. It
delineates how psychotropic drugs are prescribed and utilized, investigates reasons
underlying prescriptions, and assesses outcomes and variables which may affect
these outcomes. This review covers the introduction and development of psychopharmacoepidemiology,
specifically to its scope and limitation, examples of studies
published in the past years, and its future perspectives.
Key Word Psychopharmacoepidemiology, pharmacoepidemiology of psychotropic drugs, prescribing behavior, drug utilization
Editorial Committe, Taiwanese Journal of Psychiatry
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