There has been concern about the rate of use of antipsychotic mecdication for people with learning disabilities for some time. We have posted a number of studies which have raised questions about efficacy and rate of use here on this blog.
The authors of this study were concerned to look at prescription rates in people with learning disabilities who had experienced a psychiatric crisis. They looked at rates of antipsychotic use in 743 adults.
They found that nearly half (49%) of those who had experienced psychiatric crisis had been prescribed antipsychotics. They also found that the prescription of more than one antipsychotic, polypharmacy, was common. 22% of those prescribed antipsychotics were taking 2 or more at once. They found that the predictors of using 2 or more antipsychotics were gender, residence, psychiatric diagnosis and previous hospitalisations.
The authors conclude by raising a number of implications of continued high rates of medication prescriptions to adults with learning disabilities.
Antipsychotic medication prescription patterns in adults with developmental disabilities who have experienced psychiatric crisis, Lunsky Y & Elserafi J, in Research in developmental disabilities, 33, 1, 32-38