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Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy

Print version ISSN 2237-6089On-line version ISSN 2238-0019


OKPATAKU, Christopher Izehinosen  and  TAWANI, David. Psychotropic prescriptions for the treatment of schizophrenia in an outpatient clinic. Trends Psychiatry Psychother. [online]. 2017, vol.39, n.3, pp.165-172.  Epub Aug 31, 2017. ISSN 2238-0019.


There is an unpredictable pattern in the prescription of antipsychotics and other psychotropic medications for the treatment of schizophrenia, particularly in resource-limited settings in developing countries.


To determine the psychotropic prescriptions given to patients with schizophrenia in an outpatient clinic of a tertiary hospital and to describe the choices and trends of these prescriptions.


This was a cross-sectional descriptive study of prescriptions for adults with schizophrenia. After clinical consultation, patients’ case notes were randomly selected over a period of 2 years. Using a structured form, data were extracted from the case notes including biodemographic data, psychotropic medications prescribed and changes made to these prescriptions. Data were analyzed by means of descriptive statistics.


A total of 103 patients were selected, with a mean age of 35.96±9.78 years; 48.5% were males and 51.5% were females; 33% were unemployed and 38% had been hospitalized in the past. There were 231 initial prescriptions and 228 current prescriptions, with about 2.2 prescriptions per patient. Haloperidol (mean dose 14.77±6.28mg and 11.44±5.55mg for initial and current) and other old-generation antipsychotics were the most commonly prescribed for new cases (98%). Mean duration of psychotropic use was 7.78±5.6 years. All the patients were prescribed trihexyphenidyl, and 56.3% of the patients had their medications changed as a result of side effects.


There was a very high preference for the use of first-generation antipsychotics for all treatment settings (in- and outpatients), a pattern that is likely to persist.

Keywords : Psychotropic; prescription; schizophrenia; clinic.

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