O0057: Trends in prevalence and mean doses of commonly used antipsychotic drugs in scandinavia: A multi-national drug utilization study

Mikkel Højlund, Anton Pottegård, Erik Johnsen, Rune A. Kroken, Johan Reutfors, Povl Munk-Jørgensen, Christoph U Correll

Research output: Contribution to journalConference abstract in journalResearchpeer-review


Introduction: Use of antipsychotic drugs is common in nonpsychotic disorders such as depression, anxiety, autism spectrum disorders, and insomnia. But exposure to antipsychotic drugs has been associated with a range of serious adverse events from arrythmias to diabetes. There is a need for detailed information on current practice and trends in the utilization of this drug class to guide future initiatives on the rational use of antipsychotic drugs.

Objectives: To investigate trends in dosing and prevalence of antipsychotic prescriptions in Scandinavia.

Methods: We retrieved data on antipsychotic use between 2006 and 2016 from Danish, Norwegian and Swedish national prescription registers. For each antipsychotic, we calculated prevalence of use and mean doses, overall and for specific age groups.

Results: Antipsychotic use in Scandinavia increased from 16.5 to 17.2 users/1,000 inhabitants between 2006 and 2016 (+2.4%,
p=0.02). In 2006, chlorprothixene and levomepromazine were the most commonly used antipsychotics. By 2016, quetiapine was the most used antipsychotic in all three countries and across all age groups, with an overall one-year prevalence of 4.05 to 9.97 users/1,000 inhabitants. Mean doses of quetiapine decreased markedly during the 11-year study period (0.46 to 0.28 DDD/user/day), while mean doses for clozapine and olanzapine remained high (0.90-1.07 resp. 0.66-0.88DDD/user/day).

Conclusions: We found an increasing prevalence of antipsychotic prescriptions that coincides with low and/or decreasing mean doses of the majority of commonly used antipsychotics in Scandinavia. Of all antipsychotics, this development was most pronounced for quetiapine. Reasons for and consequences of increased antipsychotic use that lasts shorter periods of time requires further study.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Psychiatry
Issue numberS1
Pages (from-to)S16
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event28th European Congress of Psychiatry -
Duration: 4. Jul 20207. Jul 2020


Conference28th European Congress of Psychiatry

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