International trends in antipsychotic use: A study in 16 countries, 2005–2014

Óskar Hálfdánarson, Helga Zoëga, Lise Aagaard, Miquel Bernardo, Lena Brandt, Anna Coma Fusté, Kari Furu, Kristina Garuoliené, Falk Hoffmann, Krista F. Huybrechts, Luuk J. Kalverdijk, Koji Kawakami, Helle Kieler, Takuya Kinoshita, Melisa Litchfield, Soffy C. López, Jorge E. Machado-Alba, Manuel E. Machado-Duque, Mufaddal Mahesri, Prasad S. NishtalaSallie Anne Pearson, Johan Reutfors, Leena K. Saastamoinen, Izumi Sato, Catharina C.M. Schuiling-Veninga, Yu Chiau Shyu, Svetlana Skurtveit, Hélène Verdoux, Liang Jen Wang, Corinne Zara Yahni, Christian J. Bachmann

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The objective of this study was to assess international trends in antipsychotic use, using a standardised methodology. A repeated cross-sectional design was applied to data extracts from the years 2005 to 2014 from 16 countries worldwide. During the study period, the overall prevalence of antipsychotic use increased in 10 of the 16 studied countries. In 2014, the overall prevalence of antipsychotic use was highest in Taiwan (78.2/1000 persons), and lowest in Colombia (3.2/1000). In children and adolescents (0–19 years), antipsychotic use ranged from 0.5/1000 (Lithuania) to 30.8/1000 (Taiwan). In adults (20–64 years), the range was 2.8/1000 (Colombia) to 78.9/1000 (publicly insured US population), and in older adults (65+ years), antipsychotic use ranged from 19.0/1000 (Colombia) to 149.0/1000 (Taiwan). Atypical antipsychotic use increased in all populations (range of atypical/typical ratio: 0.7 (Taiwan) to 6.1 (New Zealand, Australia)). Quetiapine, risperidone, and olanzapine were most frequently prescribed. Prevalence and patterns of antipsychotic use varied markedly between countries. In the majority of populations, antipsychotic utilisation and especially the use of atypical antipsychotics increased over time. The high rates of antipsychotic prescriptions in older adults and in youths in some countries merit further investigation and systematic pharmacoepidemiologic monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1064-1076
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Neuropsychopharmacology
Issue number10
Early online date27 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antipsychotic agents
  • Internationality
  • Minors
  • Pharmacoepidemiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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