oa Central African Journal of Medicine - Drug utilisation in psychiatric units at Parirenyatwa and Harare Central Hospitals (Zimbabwe)

Volume 39, Issue 10
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



Psychotropic drug use was investigated using a sample of 209 psychiatric in-patients at Harare Central Hospital, (92 patients) and Parirenyatwa Central Hospital, (117 patients). The patients' ages ranged from 10 - 80 years, 67 pc of whom were males. Psychiatric diagnosis interacted in its effect with the number of psychotropic drugs. Schizophrenia or effective disorders were prescribed the most drugs per patient, i.e. 2,6 drugs. Antipsychotics were the most commonly used psychotropic drugs, accounting for 59,3 pc of the total (51,4 pc being schizophrenics), followed by antiparkinson drugs, (23,8 pc), tricyclic antidepressants, (8,6 pc), lithium, (4,9 pc), benzodiazepines, (0,6 pc) and anticonvulsants (0,7 pc). The prevalence of psychotic illness was 69,3 pc; affective disorders, 21,2 pc; behavioural disorders, 4,2 pc; alcohol and related disorders (confusion and cirrhosis), 3,3 pc and mental retardation. Traditional medicine was often sort before any other or after other therapies had failed or to complement orthodox medication.

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