Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci.  2011 Apr;9(1):17-22.

Antipsychotics Prescribing Patterns of Patients with Schizophrenia Admitted to Korean General Hospital Psychiatric Unit: 2001 to 2008

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Inha University, Incheon, Korea.


Although the standard of treatment for schizophrenia is antipsychotic monotherapy, overall psychotropic polypharmacy including antipsychotic polypharmacy is increasingly practiced by clinicians. However, there are very few studies that assess the prescription patterns of psychotropic drugs for patients with schizophrenia in Korea. The objective of this study is to describe changes in prescription patterns with respect to antipsychotic polypharmacy and overall psychotropic polypharmacy.
In this retrospective study, we reviewed all psychotropic drugs prescribed at the time of discharge for patients diagnosed as having schizophrenia (DSM-IV criteria) who entered a psychiatric unit of a Korean general hospital from 2001 to 2008. These included a total of 467 patients.
Of the 467 patients in this study, 205 (43.9%) were discharged with antipsychotic monotherapy and the rest, 262 (56.1%), were discharged with a polypharmacy regimen. A total of 9% of the studied patients received more than two antipsychotic drugs. The most frequent combination of antipsychotics was clozapine and aripiprazole, followed by clozapine and amisulpride, and risperidone and olanzapine. The ratio of patients discharged with a polypharmacy regimen including antipsychotic polypharmacy increased from 2001 to 2008. In relation to the mean dose of all antipsychotic drugs at the time of discharge, mean length of hospital stay and mean initial global assessment of functioning scores on admission statistically significant differences were not detected between both monotherapy and polypharmacy groups.
The main finding of this study is that polypharmacy with antipsychotics and other psychotropic medicines increased in our psychiatric unit from 2001 to 2008. The rates of antipsychotic polypharmacy in our study were less than those described in our literature review.


Schizophrenia; Antipsychotic monotherapy; Polypharmacy
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