Background In Italy a number of studies have been published on psychotropic drug use in general practice and community settings.
However, the present study is the first Italian study to focus on hypnotic drug prescriptions in a large community sample.
Method Data were collected from 145 of the total of 404 pharmacies offive large cities in north-eastern Italy.
All consecutive patients presenting a prescription for a hypnotic drug were interviewed by the pharmacists during a two-week period.
Results The pharmacists interviewed 7744 consecutive patients.
The highest prevalence of prescriptions for hypnotic drugs was found in the elderly and in women.
The majority (96%) of prescriptions were for benzodiazepines, with lorazepam and triazolam accounting for 50%. Short-acting and ultra-short-acting benzodiazepines were more frequently prescribed for sleep induction by general practitioners (GPs) than by psychiatrists and other physicians.
Frequently the benzodiazepine used as a hypnotic was also prescribed for daytime sedation.
Approximately 72% of subjects reported they had been taking the prescribed drug for one year or more.
Conclusions In Italy benzodiazepines are the most frequently prescribed drugs for sleep induction ; as they are widely prescribed for elderly people by GPs, often for long periods oftime, educational programmes and guidelines on the rational use of benzodiazepines in general practice are needed.
Mots-clés Pascal : Prescription médicale, Hypnotique, Communauté, Italie, Europe, Benzodiazépine dérivé, Psychotrope, Soin santé primaire, Epidémiologie, Statut social, Démographie, Homme
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Medical prescription, Hypnotic, Community, Italy, Europe, Benzodiazepine derivatives, Psychotropic, Primary health care, Epidemiology, Social status, Demography, Human
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 97-0224105
Code Inist : 002B02B07. Création : 11/06/1997.