August 23, 2005

Patient Characteristics Influence Antipsychotic Prescribing

A new study suggests that personal/situational aspects of a patient (eg. race, economic class, etc.) seems to have a relatively significant influence the type of antipsychotic that they are prescribed.

This study specifically looked at how certain characteristics influenced whether an individual was prescribed olanzapine (Zyprexa) or risperidone (Risperdal). All 33,119 of the participants whose prescription records were looked at either had schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. This population was seperated into 3 groups: group A were those who had been treated with an atypical that was neither olanzapine or risperidone, group B had never been prescribed with an atypical, and group C had not taken an antipsychotic for 6 months and was then given one of the 2 drugs looked at in this study.

Sociodemographic factors had a strong influence on whether a person was started on olanzapine or risperidone. "Patients who were of Hispanic origin, married, or had more service-connected disability were more likely to be initiated on olanzapine than on risperidone. This pattern was consistent across all three groups. The team suggests that these differences may be the result of economic differences, as olanzapine is more expensive than risperidone" (, 2005).

Those who were initially put on risperidone were more likely than those put on olanzapine to have "physical comorbidities" (or pre-existing physical problems), and conversely those who were initially put on olanzapine were more likely to have other mental health problems. This pattern was the same for all 3 groups, except group C which had some differences in this prescription pattern.

Original Source: Patient characteristics contribute to antipsychotic prescribing patterns. August 24, 2005.

This research report was published in Schizophr Res 2005; 77: 167–177.


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