Article Title

Use of anticholinergic drugs in patients with schizophrenia in Asia from 2001 to 2009


Objective: The aim of this study was to survey the use of anticholinergic medication (ACM) in Asia between 2001 and 2009 and examine its demographic and clinical correlates.

Method: A total of 6 761 hospitalized schizophrenia patients in 9 Asian countries and territories were examined between 2001 and 2009. The patients' socio-demographic and clinical characteristics and the prescriptions of psychotropic drugs were recorded using a standardized protocol and data collection procedure.

Results: The frequency of ACM prescription decreased from 66.3% in 2001, to 52.8% in 2004 and 54.6% in 2009, with wide inter-country variations at each time period. Multiple logistic regression analysis of the whole sample showed that patients taking ACM presented with more severe positive, negative, and extrapyramidal symptoms. They were also more likely to receive first-generation and depot antipsychotics and antipsychotic polypharmacy, and less likely to receive second-generation ones.

Conclusions: The wide variation in ACM prescription across Asia suggests that a combination of clinical, social, economic and cultural factors play a role in determining the use of these drugs. Regular reviews of ACM use are desirable to reveal the discrepancy between treatment guidelines and clinical practice.



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