Continuation Rate of Atypical Antipsychotics After Discharge When Initiated in the Intensive Care Unit

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Purpose:The frequency with which atypical antipsychotics initiated in the intensive care unit (ICU) is unknown. While there is lack of evidence to support the exact duration of treatment, antipsychotics should not be continued chronically for agitation and psychosis related to critical illness. The objective of this study was to determine whether atypical antipsychotics initiated in the ICU at a large tertiary academic medical center were continued after hospital discharge. Safety outcomes were also assessed.Materials:A total of 1023 patients who received atypical antipsychotics during ICU stay were identified. Patients were assessed in a pseudo-randomized fashion until a sample of 191 patients was reached. After review of the exclusion criteria, the final study population was 100 patients. When antipsychotics were discontinued, progress notes were reviewed to identify the reason for discontinuation. Safety outcomes were assessed based on physician documentation in the medical charts.Results:Atypical antipsychotics were continued in 23% of patients. Atypical antipsychotics were discontinued in 1 patient due to QTc prolongation.Conclusions:Atypical antipsychotics initiated in the ICU are frequently continued after hospital discharge. Given the known risks associated with extended therapy, initiatives are needed to prevent inappropriate continuation.

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