High dosages of neuroleptics do not appear to have additional benefits in psychiatric patients and are associated with higher prevalence and more severe side effects. However, they continue to be used by clinicians. The medication of all (N=360) psychiatric inpatients admitted in a long-term hospital was reviewed. A substantial number of patients (19%) were taking high dosages of neuroleptics (>1000 chlorpromazine equivalents per day). African Americans, age ≤ 55 years old with a diagnosis of schizophrenia were associated with high-dosages. Treatment with anticholinergic drugs, smoking and polydipsia were more frequent in those patients taking high-dosages. This epidemiological surveys points out the need for reviewing current treatment practices in long–term psychiatric hospitals.
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Schizophrenia Research (2002)