Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci.  2011 Dec;9(3):122-128.

Factors That Influence the Prescription of Antipsychotics for Patients with Schizophrenia in China

  • 1Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Mental Health, Peking University, Beijing, China.
  • 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.
  • 9Guangzhou Mental Health Hospital, Guangzhou, China.
  • 10Xi'An Mental Health Center, Xi'An, China.


To investigate the patterns of antipsychotic use in China and to analyze the factors that influence antipsychotic prescriptions.
A standardized survey was conducted from May 20 to 24 2002 in five different regions of China with varying economic levels. The patterns of antipsychotic medication use were analyzed in a sample of 4,779 patients with schizophrenia. The survey gathered information on demographic characteristics, clinical profiles, and antipsychotic medications prescribed. Multiple logistic regression was used to analyze factors related to patterns of antipsychotic medication use.
A plurality of patients with schizophrenia was treated with clozapine (39%); this was followed by risperidone, sulpride, chlorpromazine, perphenazine, and haloperidol. More than 56.3% of patients were treated with only one atypical antipsychotic. The mean daily dose of chlorpromazine was 365+/-253 mg (mean+/-standard deviation), and 6.5% of patients were treated with depot injections of typical antipsychotic medications. A total of 73.7% (n=3,523) of patients with schizophrenia received monotherapy, 24.8% (n=1,183) received two antipsychotics, 1.1% (n=52) received three antipsychotics, and one received four different antipsychotics. Patients often simultaneously received other classes of medications including anticholinergic agents, benzodiazepines, beta-blockers, antidepressants, and mood stabilizers. Economic status and clinical symptoms were the main factors that contributed to the patterns of antipsychotic prescription.
The present study suggests that atypical antipsychotic medications, especially clozapine, are the primary psychiatric treatments of choice in the management of schizophrenia in China. Moreover, the economic status and clinical profile of the patient are the major factors affecting the prescription of antipsychotic medication.


Schizophrenia; Antipsychotic drugs; Prescriptions; China; Survey; Clozapine
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