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Optimising prescribing for patients with severe mental illness: the need for criteria
  1. Aoife Carolan1,2,
  2. Dolores Keating1,
  3. Judith Strawbridge2,
  4. Cristin Ryan3
  1. 1 Pharmacy Department, Saint John of God Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  2. 2 School of Pharmacy, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
  3. 3 School of Pharmacy, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Aoife Carolan, Pharmacy Department, Saint John of God Hospital, Dublin A94FH92, Ireland; aoifemcarolan{at}


The life expectancy of people with severe mental illness (SMI) is considerably shorter than those without SMI. Multimorbidity and poorer physical health outcomes contribute significantly to this health inequality. Psychotropic medicines, including antipsychotics, antidepressants, mood stabilisers and anxiolytic medicines, are the mainstay of treatment for SMI, and overall improve life expectancy and quality of life. Optimising medicines is required to ensure adequate control of symptoms while avoiding complications and negative physical health outcomes. Screening tools would offer an opportunity to assist clinicians in decision making and optimising medicines for people with SMI, who are particularly vulnerable to medication-related problems and poorer physical health.

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  • Contributors AC is the primary author. DK, CR and JS contributed to a substantive review of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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