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Original Research

Subjective Medication Satisfaction With Antipsychotic Polypharmacy in a Naturalistic Inpatient and Outpatient Sample

Martijn J. Kikkert, PhDa,*; Liselotte de Mooij, MSca; Mariken de Koning, MD, PhDa; and Jack Dekker, PhD, Profa,b

Published: December 21, 2021


Objective: The aim of this study was to examine satisfaction with pharmacologic treatment in patients who received antipsychotic polypharmacy compared to antipsychotic monotherapy.

Methods: This longitudinal cohort study was conducted in two mental health care institutes in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, among a randomly selected sample of in- and outpatients with a severe mental illness. Analyses were performed on data collected in 2011 for 185 patients who were diagnosed with schizophrenia or unspecified psychosis according to DSM-IV criteria. The outcome measure was the Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire for Medication, version II. One-way analyses of covariance were performed to examine differences in treatment satisfaction between patients who received antipsychotic polypharmacy compared to antipsychotic monotherapy while controlling for the effects of clozapine, antipsychotic dose, and use of long-acting injectable antipsychotics.

Results: Twenty percent of patients in this sample received 2 antipsychotic agents; in half of those patients, this involved a combination with clozapine. Polypharmacy resulted in less satisfaction with side effects compared to monotherapy (P = .002). No difference was found in perceived effectiveness (P = .168) or overall medication satisfaction (P = .379).

Conclusions: These results confirm that antipsychotic polypharmacy is common in a random in- and outpatient sample. Patients who receive 2 antipsychotic agents are just as positive about the effectiveness and ease of use of and overall satisfaction with their medication compared to those who receive antipsychotic monotherapy. They are, however, less satisfied with perceived side effects of their medication, which may indicate that side effect profiles of antipsychotic combinations are less favorable.

Volume: 83

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