Prevalence and Patterns of Antipsychotic Use in Youth at the Time of Admission and Discharge from an Inpatient Psychiatric Facility



Procyshyn, Ric M. PharmD, PhD; Su, Johnny BSc; Elbe, Dean PharmD, BCPP; Liu, Angela Y. BSc; Panenka, William J. MD; Davidson, Jana MD; Honer, William G. MD; Barr, Alasdair M. PhD

Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology

February 2014




The objective of this study was to examine the prevalence and patterns of antipsychotic use in children and adolescents at the time of admission and discharge from a tertiary care inpatient psychiatric facility. This retrospective analysis included all patients 18 years and younger, who were admitted and discharged from a child and adolescent tertiary care inpatient psychiatric facility between May 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009. Data for medications at admission were obtained using a province-wide network that links all pharmacies in British Columbia, Canada to a central set of data systems, whereas data for medications at discharge were obtained using the Department of Pharmacy’s (British Columbia Children’s Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) inpatient computer database. Apart from antipsychotics, overall drug use included antidepressants, mood stabilizers, benzodiazepines, anticholinergics, stimulants, and sleep medications. Referral and discharge diagnoses were also examined. During the study period, 335 patients were admitted and discharged from the tertiary care inpatient psychiatric facility. Significantly, more patients were prescribed with an antipsychotic at the time of discharge from hospital compared with that of the time when they were admitted to hospital (51.6% vs 30.7%; P < 0.0001). Antidepressants were most often coprescribed with an antipsychotic at admission and discharge (32.0% vs 42.2%, respectively) followed by attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder medications (22.3% vs 24.9% at admission and discharge, respectively) and anticonvulsants (19.4% vs 19.1% at admission and discharge, respectively). Whether the significant increase in antipsychotic use seen from the time of admission to discharge is solely attributed to clinical worsening or other variables requires further investigation.





Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee