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Trends in psychotropic drug prescribing in Australia

, : Trends in psychotropic drug prescribing in Australia. Medical Journal of Australia 146(4): 208-210

In 1983-1984, 9.8 million prescriptions were written for the 12 most common psychotropic drugs that are available under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Our analysis shows that, of these prescriptions, 59% (374 per 1000 persons) were for the four most commonly prescribed benzodiazepine agents; 34% (216 per 1000 persons) were for the five main antidepressant agents; and 7% (41 per 1000 persons) were for the three main phenothiazine agents. In the period from 1977-1978 to 1983-1984, prescription volumes were relatively stable for antidepressant and phenothiazine drugs. Fluctuations in the prescribing of individual benzodiazepine agents are discussed. Older patients and women of all ages receive the majority of the pscychotropic drug prescriptions that are wirtten by Australial general practitioners.

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