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Complex psychotropic polypharmacy among patients with bipolar disorder

Navodya C. Selvaratnam


Psychotropic polypharmacy, which is the use of two or more psychotropic drugs in the same patient could be simple or complex depending on the number of psychotropic drugs prescribed. In clinical psychiatry, a common practice of polypharmacy is observed. As polypharmacy can lead to adverse health outcomes in patients, it is a public health concern of greater significance. The contributing factors to polypharmacy may be patient-related or clinician-related. In comparison to other conditions, bipolar disorder is observed to be associated with complex polypharmacy more commonly. Despite the observations, research exploring the prescription patterns in treating patients with bipolar disorder and the practice of polypharmacy is limited. The present perspective illuminates the significance of prioritizing investigative explorations into prescription patterns and polypharmacy, focusing on bipolar disorder, and proposes an uncomplicated conceptual study design that can be utilized to conduct investigative explorations in the local context.


Keywords: Psychotropic polypharmacy, prescription patterns, bipolar disorder


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