• antipsychotic drugs;
  • maintenance therapy;
  • prescription patterns;
  • psychiatric rehabilitation;
  • schizophrenia

Abstract  Cross-sectional surveys of prescription patterns of psychotropic drugs provide a quick, global estimation of the appropriateness of psychopharmacotherapy. Recurrent inadequacies in prescribing for psychiatric patients include polypharmacy, high doses of antipsychotics (APS), the use of multiple APS simultaneously, and the administration of these drugs in multiple divided doses. Faulty prescribing patterns are difficult to amend. Following a survey in a rehabilitation facility lor chronic psychiatric patients, a systematic education program and other measures were introduced to improve prescribing habits. Two years later the survey was repeated. Significant improvements were detected in the following areas: reductions in the doses of APS and antiparkinsonian (AP) drugs, reductions in the number of patients placed on these drugs, and reductions in the percentage of patients receiving multiple antipsychotics simultaneously. Despite these reductions in doses of psychotropic agents, patients' rehabilitative potential was not compromised.