Psychotropic drugs in the Family Health Strategy: profile of use, access and strategies to promote rational use

Bruno Simas da Rocha Maria Cristina Werlang About the authors

The use of psychotropic drugs is on the increase, and there are few studies in Brazil investigating their use in the population and in Primary Health Care (PHC). This study aimed to determine the prevalence and patterns of psychotropic drug use by patients of a Family Health Unit in Porto Alegre, through an observational, descriptive, retrospective and cross-sectional study. The sample consisted of patients who received prescriptions for controlled psychotropic drugs and the data collected from medical records. The study included 329 patients, with prevalence of the use of psychotropic drugs of 7.30%, mean age of 53.14 (SD = 18.58) years and 72% female. The average number of prescribed drugs and psychotropic drugs per user was 3.56 (SD = 2.36) and 1.66 (SD = 0.90), respectively. The most widely used class was antidepressants, followed by antiepileptics, anxiolytics and antipsychotics. It is necessary to develop strategies to improve access, treatment of patients and rational use of psychotropic drugs, including the revision of lists of essential drugs and training of professionals in PHC.

Psychotropic drugs; Family health; Primary health care; Pharmacoepidemiology; Mental health


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