Schizophrenia and Antipsychotic Use

  • Two poster sessions I attended at the American Psychiatric Association Convention tracked the demographics of antipsychotic users and the prescribing trends for antipsychotics.


    The medical expenditure panel survey (MEPS) "Is a set of large-scale surveys of families and individuals, their medical providers and employers across the United States providing a complete dataset on the cost and use of health care and insurance coverage."


    The MEPS survey researched 35,000 individuals.  The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) released the data covering the time period from 2003 to 2010.

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    The large-scale population-based government database shows some interesting results:


    First-generation antipsychotic (FGA) prescriptions decreased by 47% 2003-2010.  Second-generation antipsychotic (SGA) prescriptions increased 2003-10 by 87%.


    The most commonly prescribed antipsychotics were quetiapine (Seroquel), risperidone (Risperdal) and aripiprazole (Abilify).  The prescription increase 2003-09 was mainly due to quetiapine and aripiprazole.


    The variations in prescribing patterns "likely reflect changes in FDA-approved uses, patent status, study results and field preferences."


    The data on the demographics of antipsychotic users is interesting too:

    There was a 33% increase in users from 2003 to 2010.  Users were <2% of the U.S. population.


    Quetiapine and risperidone were most commonly used and aripiprazole was the most rapidly increasing.  In 2010, the most commonly used antipsychotic was aripiprazole for whites and risperidone for African Americans.


    Males were prescribed quetiapine and olanzapine > than females.


    75-85% of the users were white; 11-19% were African American users.  African Americans represent a greater proportion of FGA users than second generation antipsychotics users in 2010.


    A greater proportion of the northeast population used antipsychotics compared to other regions 2003-2010.


    There were more female (56%) than male (44%) users.


    Antipsychotics are most commonly prescribed to whites, females, and in the northeast.  The antipsychotic of choice appears to change over time and vary based on user demographics.


    Users in the western U.S. are most rapidly increasing.


    Antipsychotic use among those equal to or less than 18 years old is increasing more rapidly compared to other age groups.


    Taken from:


    Antipsychotic Prescription Patterns in the United States from 2003 to 2010, Samuel J. Ridout M.D., Ph.D., Kathryn K. Ridout M.D., Ph.D. and Junjia Zhu Ph.D.


    Characteristics of Antipsychotic Users 2003-2010 in the United States,  Kathryn K. Ridout M.D., Ph.D., Samuel J. Ridout M.D., Ph.D. and Junjia Zhu Ph.D.


Published On: June 08, 2014