Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Summary The prescription of psychotropic drugs at a multidoctor district health centre in northern Sweden in 1973, was analysed by means of problemoriented medical records. Of the 22,000 inhabitants of the district 10,700 consulted the health centre. Psychotropic drugs were prescribed for 11.3% of the patients, corresponding to 5% of the inhabitants of the area. Sixty per cent of the patients received one psychotropic prescription and 90% not more than three. Two-thirds of prescriptions were for women. Hypnotics, sedatives and minor tranquillisers constituted 64% of all prescriptions, major tranquillisers 24% and antidepressants 12%. One fifth of the patients obtained drugs belonging to more than one of the major psychotropic groups during the year. Insomnia, psychoneurosis and depression made up two-thirds of the indications for psychotropic drug therapy. More than thirty different psychotropic drugs were prescribed for the two major indications. There was considerable variation in how the different doctors prescribed drugs for the same indication. Fifty-nine different drug products were prescribed, of which the commonest five constituted more than half of the total number. Individual doctors used from 22 to 38 different psychotropic drugs.
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