Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci.  2012 Aug;10(2):99-104.

Use of Clozapine for the Treatment of Schizophrenia: Findings of the 2006 Research on the China Psychotropic Prescription Studies

Affiliations
  • 1Peking University Institute of Mental Health, Beijing, China. si.tian-mei@163.com
  • 2Hebei Mental Health Center, Baoding, China.
  • 3Mental Health Center of Huaxi Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.
  • 4Guangji Hospital, Suzhou, China.
  • 5Department of Mental Health, People's Hospital of Wuhan, Wuchang, China.
  • 6Jilin Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Siping, China.
  • 7The First Hospital of Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan, China.
  • 8Jiangxi Mental Health Hospital, Nanchang, China.
  • 9Guanzhou Mental Health Hospital, Guangzhou, China.
  • 10Xi'An Mental Health Center, Xi'An, China.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Clozapine is one of the most commonly used antipsychotic drugs in China. To date, few studies have investigated the patterns the prescription of clozapine nationwide. The present study examined these patterns in China in 2006 and identified the demographic and clinical characteristics associated with the use of clozapine.
METHODS
Using a standardized protocol and data collection procedure, we surveyed 5,898 patients with schizophrenia in 10 provinces with differing levels of economic development.
RESULTS
Overall, clozapine had been prescribed for 31.9% (n=1,883) of the patients; however we found considerable variation among the 10 provinces. The frequency of clozapine use was highest in Sichuan (39.3%) and lowest in Beijing (17.3%). The mean daily dose of clozapine was 210.36+/-128.72 mg/day, and 25.1% of the patients were treated with clozapine in combination with other antipsychotics. Compared with the group not receiving clozapine, clozapine-user had been treated for longer durations and had experienced a greater number of relapses and hospitalizations. Furthermore, those in the clozapine-user had lower family incomes, were less able to seek psychiatric services, and more likely to be male and have a positive family history of schizophrenia. A multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that age, sex, professional help-seeking behaviors, duration of illness, economic status, educational level, and clinical manifestations were associated with the use of clozapine.
CONCLUSION
Clozapine use is common in China. However, use of the antipsychotic varies among provinces, and demographic and clinical factors play important roles in the prescription of clozapine.

Keyword

Schizophrenia; Clozapine; Prescription; Sampling studies
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