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n African Journal of Psychiatry - Polypharmacy in psychiatric outpatient practice in northern Nigeria : original article
Objective: To describe and analyze patterns of polypharmacy among psychiatric outpatients in northern Nigeria and identify predictors of psychotropic polypharmacy.
Method: 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.
Results: 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.
Conclusion: 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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