Off-label use of quetiapine
Quetiapine is a second-generation antipsychotic, primarily intended for use in people with schizophrenia, type-one or -two bipolar disorder, or as an adjunct for major depressive disorder (NHS England, 2022). However, it has become increasingly popular off-label for use on its own for anxiety, sleep disturbance, depression, and other disorders such as emotional dysregulation in personality disorders. Due to its changing use, it is important to look at recent research that may indicate its usefulness for a range of mental health concerns.
Duncan et al (2016) published a study in the BMJ Open, which evaluated trends in the prescribing of quetiapine to adults in Alberta, Canada, between 2008–2013. The authors examined dispensed prescriptions, and diagnoses associated with people who were using quetiapine in 2013 and analysed administrative data from Alberta Health, the Alberta Pharmaceutical Information Network (PIN) Dispenses health data set, the Practitioner Payments (Fee-For-Service claims) health data set and the Population Registry health data set. This meant that the team could identify any person using quetiapine for each year from 2008–2013. The diagnoses were then evaluated by examining for diagnostic codes used by doctors when filing billings claims in 2013.
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