Evaluation of Defined Daily Dose, percentage of British National Formulary maximum and chlorpromazine equivalents in antipsychotic drug utilization.
To date, few studies have investigated prescription patterns of psychotropic drugs in Chinese patients with schizophrenia in general and outpatients in particular. This study examined the role that socio-demographic and clinical factors play in determining psychotropic drug prescriptions for schizophrenia outpatients in China. Two hundred and fifty-five and 250 clinically stable outpatients with schizophrenia were randomly selected and interviewed in Hong Kong (HK) and Beijing (BJ) respectively, using standardized assessment instruments. Prescriptions of psychotropic drugs for all 505 subjects were collected at the time of the assessment. The relationship between antipsychotic drug prescription patterns and a host of socio-demographic and clinical variables was analyzed and compared between the two study sites. Prescription patterns were quite different for the two ethnically homogenous and clinically very similar samples. In multiple logistic regression analyses, the use of depot antipsychotics (DA) and site (HK vs BJ) both significantly predicted antipsychotic polypharmacy (APP), while symptoms of anxiety, use of clozapine and APP and site predicted use of DA. Age, number of hospitalizations, site, and use of DA predicted use of clozapine. No significant differences were found between the quality of life domains of patients with respect to APP, DA, and clozapine. A complex web of economic and clinical factors and health policies plays an important role in determining psychotropic drug prescription practices for Chinese outpatients with schizophrenia.