Objective: This study examined the prevalence and correlates of concomitant psychotropic medications and use of anticholinergic drugs to treat schizophrenia. Methods: Concomitant medication use was studied at baseline for participants in the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE) trial. Results: Of the 1,380 patients with baseline medication data, 82 percent were taking psychotropic medications. Of this group, 6 percent were taking two antipsychotics (one first generation and one second generation); 38 percent, antidepressants; 22 percent, anxiolytics; 4 percent, lithium, and 15 percent, other mood stabilizers. The strongest predictors of taking several medications were having anxiety or depression, being female, and taking second-generation antipsychotics. Conversely, African Americans and those with better neurocognitive functioning were less likely to be taking several concomitant psychotropic medications. In some cases symptoms that were likely targets of polypharmacy, such as depression, remained prominent, suggesting only partial response. Conclusions: Concomitant use of psychotropic medications to treat people with schizophrenia is common. Empirical data demonstrating the effectiveness of many of these agents for this population are lacking.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health