Comparison of Psychotropic Prescriptions between Oncology and Cardiology Inpatients: Result from a Pharmacy Database in a Teaching Hospital in Malaysia


Objective: To examine the prescription rates in cancer patients of three common psychotropic drugs: anxiolytic/hypnotic, antidepressant and antipsychotic. Materials and
Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, data wereextracted from the pharmacy database of University Malaya Medical Center (UMMC) responsible for dispensingrecords of patients stored in the pharmacy’s Medication Management and Use System (Ascribe). We analyzedthe use of psychotropics in patients from the oncology ward and cardiology from 2008 to 2012. Odds ratios (ORs)were adjusted for age, gender and ethnicity.
Results: A total of 3,345 oncology patients and 8,980 cardiologypatients were included. Oncology patients were significantly more often prescribed psychotropic drugs (adjustedOR: anxiolytic/hypnotic=5.55 (CI: 4.64-6.63); antidepressants=6.08 (CI: 4.83-7.64) and antipsychotics=5.41(CI: 4.17-7.02). Non-Malay female cancer patients were at significantly higher risk of anxiolytic/hypnotic use.
Conclusions: Psychotropic drugs prescription is common in cancer patients. Anxiolytic/hypnotic prescriptionrates are significantly higher in non-Malay female patients in Malaysia.