The use of clozapine in a rural and remote region of Australia

The use of clozapine in a rural and remote region of Australia Journal Article

Australasian Psychiatry

  • Author(s): Tahnee, Bridson, Hesitha, Abeysundera, Arulmathy, Arunachalam, Anthea, Lam, Linda, Mora, Patrick, McGorry, Brian, O’Donoghue
  • Published: 2020
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd
  • ISBN: 1039-8562

Abstract: Objective: Clozapine is the most effective antipsychotic available for treatment-resistant schizophrenia. Unfortunately, it is often underutilised or administered late in the treatment course, if at all. This issue is further augmented in rural and remote regions where access to treatment is sparse. This study is the first of its kind to investigate the use of clozapine in a remote and regional area of Australia with a high proportion of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander individuals.Methods: This study includes all individuals who were commenced on clozapine between June 2013 and June 2018. Relevant clinical information was sourced from electronic medical records and descriptive statistical analysis performed.Results: A total of 3850 patients with psychotic disorders were reviewed over 5 years, of whom 63 were commenced on clozapine. The majority were male (n = 50, 79.4%) with a mean age of 33.9 years (standard deviation 11.0). A total of 34.9% (n = 22) identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. The mean length of time between diagnosis and commencement of clozapine was 7.2 years (standard deviation ±4.6 years), while the mean number of antipsychotic medications tried prior to clozapine was 4.2 (standard deviation ±1.6 antipsychotics). Clozapine was discontinued in 57.1% of the individuals in this study (41% within the first 12 months). The most common cause for cessation was poor compliance (n = 19, 30.2%).Conclusion: While clozapine remains the most effective antipsychotic treatment, it is often commenced late in the treatment or ceased prematurely. Further work is required, particularly in remote and regional populations, to ensure treatment adherence for optimal patient outcomes.

Cite this document

Suggested Citation
Tahnee, Bridson, Hesitha, Abeysundera, Arulmathy, Arunachalam, Anthea, Lam, Linda, Mora, Patrick, McGorry, Brian, O’Donoghue, 2020, The use of clozapine in a rural and remote region of Australia, Journal Article, viewed 12 June 2024, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=22767.

Endnote Mendeley Zotero Export Google Scholar

Share this page

Search again