The purpose of the study was three-fold: (1) to estimate the national trends in antipsychotic (AP) polypharmacy among 6- to 24-year-old patients in the U.S.; (2) to identify frequently used AP agents and mental disorder diagnoses related to AP polypharmacy; and (3) to assess the strength of association between AP polypharmacy and patient/provider characteristics. We used publicly available ambulatory health care datasets to evaluate AP polypharmacy in office-based or hospital outpatient department settings to conduct a cross-sectional study. First, national visit rates between 2007 and 2011 were estimated using sampling weights. Second, common diagnoses and drugs used in AP polypharmacy were identified. Third, a multivariate logistic regression model was developed to assess the strength of association between AP polypharmacy and patient and provider characteristics. Between 2007 and 2011, approximately 2% of office-based or hospital outpatient department visits made by 6- to 24-year-old patients included one or more AP prescriptions. Of these visits, 5% were classified as AP polypharmacy. The most common combination of AP polypharmacy was to use two or more second-generation APs. Also, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia were the two most frequent primary mental disorder diagnoses among AP polypharmacy visits. The factors associated with AP polypharmacy were: older age (young adults), black, having one or more non-AP prescriptions, and having schizophrenia or ADHD.
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