n African Journal of Psychiatry - Polypharmacy in psychiatric outpatient practice in northern Nigeria : original article




To describe and analyze patterns of polypharmacy among psychiatric outpatients in northern Nigeria and identify predictors of psychotropic polypharmacy.

A cross-sectional study, using chart review of new patients at out-patient clinics of two regional psychiatric hospitals in northern Nigeria, measuring rates, patterns and predictors of psychotropic polypharmacy.
A total of 278 patients were seen, of whom 92% were given two or more psychotropic agents. The pattern of psychotropic polypharmacy revealed that total, multi-class and adjunctive polypharmacy rates were high, while augmentation and same class polypharmacy rates were low. Age of respondent and diagnosis were the factors associated with total polypharmacy.
The complex interplay of factors influencing physician prescription practices requires that a more pragmatic approach be adopted in efforts to curtail polypharmacy practice, rather than a wholesale, absolute condemnation of the practice.


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