Prescription medication use in persons many years following traumatic brain injury

Brain Inj. 2008 Sep;22(10):752-7. doi: 10.1080/02699050802320132.


Background: This research study examined the prevalence of prescription medication use in persons many years following moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Setting and subjects: Consecutive records were examined of persons with moderate-to-severe TBI who were discharged from a large rehabilitation hospital in Pennsylvania from 1973-1989. Consenting participants (n = 306) were interviewed, who were traced up to 24 years post-injury. Data on current use of prescription medications, in addition to demographic characteristics and health conditions were collected from the participants.

Results: The prevalence of prescription medication was 58.9% in the sample, greater in females (65.6%) than in males (56.1%). The most prescribed medication types were anti-convulsants (25.8%) followed by anti-depressants (8.2%), painkillers (8.2%) and anti-anxiety medications (5.9%). On average, persons with TBI were prescribed 2.64 (SD = 2.14) medications with a range of 1-12.

Conclusion: The research findings indicate a high prevalence of prescription medications in persons with past history of TBI. There is also a high prevalence of anti-convulsants medication use.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Brain Injuries / complications*
  • Brain Injuries / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder / etiology
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Epilepsy, Post-Traumatic / drug therapy*
  • Epilepsy, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology
  • Epilepsy, Post-Traumatic / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pennsylvania / epidemiology
  • Prescription Drugs / therapeutic use*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / etiology


  • Analgesics
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Prescription Drugs