Patterns of clozapine and other antipsychotics prescriptions in patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia in community mental health centers in Sao Paulo, Brazil
Arch Clin Psychiat
Background: Despite of its global underuse, clozapine is still the golden standard antipsychotic for patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia (TRS). Objective: To evaluate the patterns of clozapine and other antipsychotic drugs prescription in TRS in community mental health centers in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Methods: A multiple-choice questionnaire was applied to fifteen psychiatrists at five centers inquiring about patients' clinical condition, adherence to oral treatment and current antipsychotic treatment. History of previous and current antipsychotic treatment was collected through medical chart review. Results: Out of 442 schizophrenia patients, 103 (23.3%) fulfilled the criteria for TRS. Fifty-eight patients (56.3%) were receiving polypharmacy; 30 (29.1%) were on atypical antipsychotic monotherapy, 14 (13.6%) were on typical antipsychotic monotherapy, 25 (24.3%) were taking depot antipsychotic medication and only 22 (21.4%) were receiving clozapine. Discussion: As well as in other parts of the world, many TRS patients (78.6%) receive other drugs instead of clozapine in Sao Paulo, the best evidence-based medication for patients with TRS. The government should make every effort to provide medical training and the equipment and logistic support to adequately serve those who could benefit from clozapine treatment at the community health centers.
School of Medicine