Treatment patterns of schizophrenia based on the data from seven central and eastern European countries

Monika Szkultecka-Debek, Katarzyna Miernik, Jaroslaw Stelmachowski, Miro Jakovljević, Vlado Jukić, Kaire Aadamsoo, Sven Janno, I. Bitter, Judit Tolna, Marek Jarema, Slobodan Jankovic, Jan Pecenak, Livia Vavrusova, Rok Tavčar, Jacek Walczak, Darren Talbot, Joanna Augustyńska

Research output: Article

4 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The aim is to analyze how schizophrenia is pharmacologically treated in seven CEE countries: Croatia Estonia Hungary Poland Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia. Methods: Psychiatrists from selected centers in each of participating countries were asked to complete a pre-defined questionnaire on their current clinical practice. Information on protocols and resource utilization in schizophrenia treatment was included and derived from randomly selected patient medical records. Expert opinions on country-wide treatment patterns were additionally sought. This sub-analysis focuses on pharmacological treatment patterns in the last six months and over the course of the disease. Results: 961 patients' data show that during last six months the most commonly prescribed medications were oral atypical antipsychotics: olanzapine (n=268), clozapine (n=234) and risperidone (n=160). The most frequently prescribed atypical antipsychotics over course of disease were: risperidone (54.5%), olanzapine (52.4%) and clozapine (35.1%), along with haloperidol (39.3%). Experts reported risperidone (four countries) and olanzapine (three countries) as first-line treatment, with the same two medications prescribed as second-line treatment. Clozapine was the most reported medication for refractory patients. Approximately 22% of patients received polypharmacy with antipsychotics in at least one period over the disease course. Mean time since diagnosis was 13.1 years and on average 4.8 treatment courses received during that period. Anxiolytics (70%), antidepressants (42%), mood-stabilizers (27%) were also prescribed, with diazepam (35.4%), sertraline (10.5%), valproic acid (17.5%) the most commonly reported, respectively, in each group. The most frequently reported treatment change was switch from one oral atypical antipsychotic to another (51%). Conclusion: Oral atypical antipsychotics, mostly older drugs (risperidone, olanzapine, clozapine), were most commonly prescribed for schizophrenia treatment in participating countries. Given that results are from the first large-scale analysis of RWD, we believe these findings can be a benchmark for future real-world studies, which could contribute to the optimization of treatment for this debilitating disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-242
Number of pages9
JournalPsychiatria Danubina
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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    Szkultecka-Debek, M., Miernik, K., Stelmachowski, J., Jakovljević, M., Jukić, V., Aadamsoo, K., Janno, S., Bitter, I., Tolna, J., Jarema, M., Jankovic, S., Pecenak, J., Vavrusova, L., Tavčar, R., Walczak, J., Talbot, D., & Augustyńska, J. (2016). Treatment patterns of schizophrenia based on the data from seven central and eastern European countries. Psychiatria Danubina, 28(3), 234-242.