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Antipsychotic prescriptions for children and adolescents in the UK increased from 1993 to 2005

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QUESTION

Question:

What are the trends in antipsychotic medication prescription for people 18 years and younger in the UK?

Population:

Children and adolescents (0–18 years) registered on the General Practice Research Database (GPRD), with ⩾1 year data recorded.

Setting:

384 UK general practices included in the GPRD; data were extracted for the period January 1 1992–31 December 2005.

Assessment:

Information on prescriptions was extracted from the GPRD, which holds de-identified patient information regarding consultations (eg, prescriptions, clinical notes, referrals, test results) and demographic data from participating general practices in the UK. Cases were children and adolescents prescribed at least one antipsychotic medication.

Outcomes:

Prevalence of antipsychotic prescriptions (users per 1000 patient years) by age group (0–6, 7–12, 13–18 years) and by type of antipsychotic prescribed (typical or atypical) from 1993 to 2005; condition for which medication was prescribed.

METHODS

Design:

Repeated cross sectional study.

MAIN RESULTS

The prescription of all antipsychotic drugs increased between 1993 and 2005 (from 0.39 to 0.77 users per 1000 patient years; p<0.01). This was driven by the increase in …

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