Clinical Use of Mood Stabilizers With Antidepressants in Asia: Report From the Research on Asian Psychotropic Prescription Patterns for Antidepressants (REAP-AD) Projects in 2004 and 2013

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ObjectiveAs most reports concerning treatment with combinations of mood stabilizer (MS) with antidepressant (AD) drugs are based in the West, we surveyed characteristics of such cotreatment in 42 sites caring for the mentally ill in 10 Asian countries.MethodsThis cross-sectional, pharmacoepidemiologic study used 2004 and 2013 data from the REAP-AD (Research Study on Asian Psychotropic Prescription Patterns for Antidepressants) to evaluate the rates and doses of MSs given with ADs and associated factors in 4164 psychiatric patients, using standard bivariate methods followed by multivariable logistic regression modeling.ResultsUse of MS + AD increased by 104% (5.5% to 11.2%) between 2004 and 2013 and was much more associated with diagnosis of bipolar disorder than major depression or anxiety disorder, as well as with hospitalization > outpatient care, psychiatric > general-medical programs, and young age (all P < 0.001), but not with country, sex, or AD dose.ConclusionsThe findings provide a broad picture of contemporary use of MSs with ADs in Asia, support predictions that such treatment increased in recent years, and was associated with diagnosis of bipolar disorder, treatment in inpatient and psychiatric settings, and younger age.

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