Prescription of anxiolytics, sedatives, hypnotics and antidepressants in outpatient, universal care during the COVID-19 pandemic in Portugal: a nationwide, interrupted time-series approach


Posted: 2021-10-09 19:00:00
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the population's mental health. However, its impact on the consumption of anxiolytics, sedatives, hypnotics and antidepressants remains to be evaluated. Hence, this article aims to assess the prescription trends of these drugs in Portugal, from January 2018 to March 2021, while critically examining whether the COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on these prescription trends or not. Methods: A nationwide interrupted time-series analysis of the prescription data of anxiolytics, sedatives, hypnotics and antidepressants in outpatient setting of the public health sector was conducted. The data encompassed the defined daily dose per month, age range and sex and were analysed following a segmented regression approach. Results: The pandemic preceded an immediate reduction in the prescription of anxiolytics, sedatives and hypnotics for children and adolescents. However, an increasing trend throughout the pandemic has been noted in the prescription of these drugs, especially among adults aged 65 years or above. A drop in antidepressant prescription was observed as an immediate effect of the pandemic among male and female adolescents and elderly women. From March 2020 to March 2021, a decreasing prescription trend has been noted among men. Conclusions: When analysing specific genders and age ranges, differences can be noted, in terms of both immediate impact and prescribing trends throughout 1 year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact of the pandemic on mental health and its association with the consumption trends of psychoactive drugs, and with the access to mental health treatments, should be further assessed. Keywords: COVID-19; mental health; pharmacoepidemiology; public health; time-series.

参考サイト PubMed: covid-19


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バイオクイックニュース日本語版:COVID-19特集

バイオクイックニュース日本語版
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