Sex differences in psychotropic and analgesic drug use before and after initiating treatment with acetylcholinesterase inhibitors - Nasjonal kompetansetjeneste for aldring og helse

PLoS One, 2021

Sex differences in psychotropic and analgesic drug use before and after initiating treatment with acetylcholinesterase inhibitors

Background/aims: The aim was to explore the impact of sex on prevalence, patterns and trends in the prescription of psychotropics and analgesics in users of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs), before and after AChEI initiation, compared to the general population.

Methods: A prospective study applying data from the Norwegian Prescription Database (NorPD) in the period 2004-2016. Prescription of antidepressants, antipsychotics, analgesics including opioids, benzodiazepines and z-hypnotics in persistent AChEI users was studied in a follow-up period from four years before to two years after AChEI initiation in men and women of four age groups: 37-64, 65-72, 73-80 and 81-88 years.

Results: Use of antidepressants, antipsychotics and weaker analgesics increased in both sexes during the follow-up period in 11.764 persistent AChEI users. Women with pre-dementia and dementia stages of AD showed a prescription pattern with more use of psychotropics and opioids than men, except for antipsychotics.

Conclusion: Female sex showed to have a significant influence on the prescriptions of psychotropics and analgesics in AD patients in a pre-dementia and dementia stage. The exception is for antipsychotics, that men used more than women. The prescription pattern showed a higher extent of polypharmacy of psychotropics and/or opioids in women than in men. The total prescription pattern of analgesics could indicate an undertreatment of pain in pre-dementia and dementia stages, most pronounced in men.

Forfatter(e)

Anne Sverdrup Efjestad, Hege Ihle-Hansen, Vidar Hjellvik, Knut Engedal, Hege Salvesen Blix

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