Background Drug compliance is a cause for concern in every medical speciality. Particularly in Psychiatry, the adherence rate to pharmacological treatment seems to be lower than in other areas. This may be due to the length and complexity of treatments and the adverse reactions they may trigger.
Modified-Release Oral Psychotropic Drugs (MROPD) are helpful tools as they allow both treatment simplification and reduction in the incidence and severity of adverse drug reactions, hence easing drug compliance.
Purpose The aim of this study is to analyse the prescription of MROPD and compare their posologies with the approved ones on the Summaries of Product Characteristics (SPC).
Materials and methods 1 month observational, retrospective study on the prescription of MROPD used on the acute Psychiatric ward in a third level hospital.
Results 411 prescriptions for MROPD were included. The distribution was as follows: 38% (155) venlafaxine, 19% (78) valproate, 17% (71) alprazolam, 10% (41) quetiapine, 9% (37) lithium and 7% (29) biperiden.
33% (134) prescriptions were not correct according to the SPCs. Long-acting venlafaxine accounted for 68% (105) of these prescriptions, just in one case the posology was corrected from 75 mg 1-0-1 to 150 mg 1-0-0. Retard alprazolam was prescribed incorrectly in 25% (18) of the occasions, quetiapine in 15% (8) and lithium in the 35% (13) of the instances.
Valproate and biperiden posologies were correct 100% of the times these drugs were prescribed.
Conclusions Discrepancies between SPC recommendations and real use of MROPD commonly occur, which means added risk for the patients. Pharmacists may make interventions such as suggesting simplification of treatments to improve compliance and educating clinicians on different prolonged-release preparations to promote the safer use of psychotropic drugs.
No conflict of interest.
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