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Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría

Print version ISSN 0034-7450

Abstract

MACHADO-ALBA, Jorge Enrique; ALZATE-CARVAJAL, Verónica  and  JIMENEZ-CANIZALES, Carlos Eduardo. Trends in the consumption of anxiolytic and hypnotic drugs in a Colombian population. rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2015, vol.44, n.2, pp.93-99. ISSN 0034-7450.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rcp.2015.01.007.

Introduction: In Latin America, psychotropic medications are the third most marketed drug group, especially antidepressants (35%) and anxiolytics (5%). The objective of this study was to determine the trends in the consumption and the costs of anxiolytic and hypnotic drugs in a population of patients enrolled in the Health System of Colombia. Material and methods: A descriptive, observational study was performed using the data recorded inprescriptions for any anxiolytic or hypnotic drug prescribed to outpatients in the period between January 2008 and December 2013 in a population of 3.5 million people. Sociodemographic, pharmacological variables, overall costs, and cost per thousand inhabitants per day (CHD), were also recorded. Results: The number of patients who received the drugs studied varied from 11,097 to 19,231 between 2008 and 2013. The most used drugs were clonazepam (44.1% of formulations), alprazolam (31.2%), and lorazepam (13.2%). The invoiced value of anxiolytics increased from US$ 207,673.63 in 2008 to US$ 488,977 in 2013, an increase of 135.4%. The CHD was US$ 0.31 for benzodiazepines, and US$ 0.02 for zaleplon, zolpidem and zopiclone (Z drugs) for 2008, and US$ 0.36 and US$ 0.02 in 2013 respectively. The CHD declined after 2010 following the introduction of generic drugs. Conclusions: Patients receiving benzodiazepines in Colombia are mostly women, average age 55 years, with very low frequency in defined daily doses per thousand inhabitants when compared with other countries.

Keywords : Hypnotics and sedatives; Anxiolytics; Drug prescriptions; Health care costs; Drug costs; Pharmacoepidemiology; Colombia.

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