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, 37 (10), 2332-8

Tablet Splitting of Psychotropic Drugs for Patients With Dementia: A Pharmacoepidemiologic Study in a Brazilian Sample

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Tablet Splitting of Psychotropic Drugs for Patients With Dementia: A Pharmacoepidemiologic Study in a Brazilian Sample

Flávio Mascarenhas Starling et al. Clin Ther.

Abstract

Purpose: The objective of this study was to assess the frequency of tablet splitting of psychotropic drugs in a population of older adults with a diagnosis of dementia.

Methods: This retrospective, cross-sectional study examined a sample of geriatric outpatients seen at a public center specializing in the care of elderly patients, a referral center for management of dementias in general, especially Alzheimer dementia to identify the frequency of tablet splitting of psychotropic drugs and the factors that may be involved in this practice. Comparison of the presence or absence of tablet splitting in relation to several parameters was assessed by means of P values; between-group differences with an α < 5% (P < 0.05) were deemed significant.

Findings: The presence of dementia was significantly associated with prescriptions implying to split tablets, which was found in 88 patients with dementia (34.9%) versus 90 patients without dementia (23.7%) (P = 0.002). Among the 88 patients with dementia who split tablets, 64 (72.7%) split tablets of psychotropic drugs.

Implications: These results indicate the importance of identifying the practice of tablet splitting, particularly when it involves psychotropic drugs, because it entails several factors that can reduce the efficacy of the drug therapy.

Keywords: dementia; drug therapy; psychotropic drugs; tablet.

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