Aims: The objective of the present study was to identify schizophrenia inpatients who had their original regimen augmented with additional antipsychotics during acute inpatient care, and to clarify the factors associated with these additions.
Methods: The subjects were 204 schizophrenia inpatients at 34 acute care hospitals, of whom 42 (20.6%) had further antipsychotics added to their medication regimen during hospitalization.
Results: Compared with patients who were not prescribed additional antipsychotics, the subjects were typically discharged with higher dosages of antipsychotics, principally low-potency medications. Patients who exhibited aggressive behavior, who had no physical illness, or whose psychiatrists preferred typical antipsychotics, were more likely to be prescribed additional new antipsychotics.
Conclusions: Alternative approaches such as intensive care for aggressive patients and educational intervention with psychiatrists may prove useful in stabilizing patients without adding new antipsychotics unless absolutely necessary, and in simplifying medication regimens.