Past Issues

Antipsychotic Prescription Pattern among Child and Adolescent Patients with Psychiatric Illnesses in Taiwan

Shu-Wen Cheng, Hung-Yu Chan

Objectives: The prevalence of antipsychotic prescription for child and adolescent patients with psychiatric illnesses is increasing over the world. No studies exist to focus on the prescription pattern and trend of antipsychotic use for child and adolescent patients in psychiatric hospitals of Taiwan. Methods: In this retrospective study for all outpatients equal or below 18 years of age in a psychiatric hospital, we collected related study variables from the study hospital from 2004 to 2013. Reviewing the electronic medical information system, we extracted both patients’ demographic data (information for sex, age, psychiatric diagnosis, and prescriptions of antipsychotic drugs). Results: During the study period, the proportion of participants received antipsychotics was increased significantly (from 13.63% in 2004, to 15.02% in 2013, p < 0.001). The proportion of participants received second generation antipsychotics (SGAs) was increased (from 5.84% in 2004, to 10.59% in 2013, p < 0.001), but first-generation antipsychotics (FGAs) was decreased (from 8.05% to 4.97%, p < 0.001). The age group of 16-18 years of age showed that the highest increase (from 7.53% to 9.11%, p < 0.001). The male gender was found to be significantly increased (from 7.89% to 9.51%, p < 0.001). Conclusion: The results are in line with the trend of the world about the increasing SGA use for psychiatric patients below 18 years of age. In spite of the potential benefits of SGAs on treating illnesses or symptoms, we need caution the potential side effects of long-term SGA use. We expect the appropriate use of antipsychotics for psychiatric patients of children and adolescents, to improve the care quality for this population.
Key Word children and adolescents, psychiatric illnesses, antipsychotic drugs, prescription patterns
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