Overactive, aggressive, disruptive and agitated behavior associated with the use of psychotropic medications in schizophrenia
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionSchizophrenia Research. 2022, 248, 35-41. 10.1016/j.schres.2022.07.014
Background Evidence is limited for the associations between use of psychotropic medications and overactive, aggressive, disruptive or agitated behavior (OADA)1 in clinical practice. Aims To investigate the associations between risk of readmission with OADA and use of antipsychotics, antidepressants, mood stabilizers and benzodiazepines in patients with schizophrenia. Method A consecutive total cohort diagnosed with schizophrenia (N = 663) after admission to the Haukeland University Hospital psychiatric acute unit in Bergen, Norway, was followed from discharge over a 10-year period. At every following readmission, the level of OADA was assessed using the first item of the Health of the Nation Outcome Scale (HoNOS). Periods of use versus non-use of antipsychotics, antidepressants, mood stabilizers and benzodiazepines were recorded as time-dependent variables in each patient and compared using Cox multiple regression analyses. Results A total of 161 (24.3 %) patients were readmitted with OADA, and the mean (SD) and median times in years to readmission with OADA were 2.8 (2.6) and 2.1, respectively. We found that the risk of readmission with OADA was negatively associated with use of antipsychotics (adjusted hazard ratio (AHR) = 0.33, p < 0.01, CI: 0.24–0.46) and antidepressants (AHR = 0.57, p = 0.03, CI: 0.34–0.95), positively associated with use of benzodiazepines (AHR = 1.95, p < 0.01, CI: 1.31–2.90) and not significantly associated with use of mood stabilizers. Conclusions Use of antipsychotics and antidepressants is associated with reduced risk of readmission with OADA whereas benzodiazepines are associated with an increased risk of readmission with OADA in patients with schizophrenia.