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Pharmacy World & Science

, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 600–604 | Cite as

Psychotropic medication use in the child and adolescent psychiatry wards of a French hospital

  • Ursula Winterfeld
  • Marie-France Le Heuzey
  • Eric Acquaviva
  • Marie-Christine Mouren
  • Françoise Brion
  • Olivier BourdonEmail author
Short Research Report

Abstract

Objective The aim of this study was to investigate the use of psychotropic medication in children and adolescents hospitalised in a psychiatric ward. Methods A prospective analysis of psychotropic drug prescriptions was conducted for all patients hospitalised in two acute psychiatric hospitalisation units of a paediatric teaching hospital in Paris, France. The study group consisted of 187 patients and was characterised in terms of age, sex, prior psychiatric hospitalisation and DSM-IV-Tr diagnosis. All prescriptions were assessed for off-label use. Results Overall, 46% of patients received at least one dose of psychotropic medication. Antipsychotic drugs were the most frequently prescribed drugs (44%), regardless of diagnosis. Ninety percent of patients who received antipsychotic drugs did not have psychosis. We found that 69% of the 421 prescriptions written were for off-label uses. The percentage distribution of off-label prescriptions by medication class was as follows: antipsychotic drugs, 90%; anxiolytics, 28%; stimulants, 26%; antidepressants, 89%; antiepileptic drugs, 89% and antiparkinsonian drugs, 91%. Conclusion The extensive use of drugs for off-label indications in children and adolescents suggests that prospective post-marketing studies should be carried out to evaluate efficacy and safety.

Keywords

Child Psychiatry France Prescribing practices Off-Label prescribing Paediatrics Psychotropic drugs 

Notes

Conflict of interests

The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ursula Winterfeld
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Marie-France Le Heuzey
    • 3
    • 4
  • Eric Acquaviva
    • 3
    • 4
  • Marie-Christine Mouren
    • 3
    • 4
  • Françoise Brion
    • 1
    • 2
  • Olivier Bourdon
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.APHP, Hôpital Robert Debré, Department of PharmacyParisFrance
  2. 2.Université Paris Descartes, Pharmacie cliniqueParis cedex 06France
  3. 3.APHP, Hôpital Robert Debré, Department of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryParisFrance
  4. 4.Université Paris DiderotParis cedex 13France

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