Advertisements for psychotropic drugs which appeared in the leading medical journals in Finland, Sweden and Denmark were analyzed to identify the picture content and trends in advertising between 1975 and 1985. The most common picture was a metaphor, the frequency of which increased in the 1980s. The second largest picture category was a patient, the rate of which remained constant during the study period. Both the use of a metaphor and a patient was related to the low sales of the drug in respective country whereas picture of a drug package was related to a stable market position of a drug in the country. The patients were increasingly depicted as men in the Danish and Swedish journal whereas the pictures of females were most common in the Finnish one. The portrayal of working persons, especially office workers and teachers, was a new feature in the advertisements in the 1980s. It is argued that the drug industry still uses gender as a device to expand their market of psychotropic drugs in a new way.
The purpose of the present study was to assess the agreement between self-reported use of sleep medications and tranquilizers and dispensed hypnotics and anxiolytics.
Self-reported medication use was obtained from the population-based survey Health and Environment in Oslo (HELMILO) (2009-2010) (n = 13 019). Data on dispensed hypnotics and anxiolytics were obtained from the Norwegian Prescription Database (NorPD). As measures of validity, we calculated sensitivity and specificity using both self-reports and prescription records as the reference standard. Furthermore, we calculated Cohen's kappa. Current self-reported medication use was compared with prescription data in time windows of both 100 and 200 days preceding questionnaire completion.
The highest sensitivity was observed for current sleep medication use in the 100-day time window (sensitivity = 0.76, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.74, 0.79) when using prescription records as the reference standard. Sensitivity was generally lower for tranquilizers compared with sleep medications. Cohen's kappa showed the highest agreement for the 200-day time window with substantial agreement for sleep medications (kappa = 0.64; 95% CI: 0.62, 0.67) and moderate agreement for tranquilizers (kappa = 0.45; 95% CI: 0.41, 0.48).
The present study suggests moderate to substantial agreement between self-reported use of sleep medications and tranquilizers and dispensed drugs in a general adult population. The magnitude of agreement varied according to drug category and time window. Since self-reported and registry-based use of these drug classes does not match each other accurately, limitations of each data source should be considered when such medications are applied as the exposure or outcome in epidemiologic studies.
This paper reports a study of alcohol- and drug-use by older clients in relation to their health and well-being. The sample of 349 persons was drawn from adults aged 60 and over living in senior citizens apartments in Toronto. Interviews were done in several languages. The results indicated that males and those aged 60 to 65 were less happy and healthy, had fewer social supports, and more alcohol-related problems. Drug-related problems were less numerous but occurred equally for both sexes. These results indicate that new alcohol programs are needed for the elderly, and these should focus on males, especially the younger elderly in transition from work to retirement.
The present study used analyses of data from five surveys of the same population over a 6-year period to examine the relationship of use of tranquilizers/sleeping pills with gender, age and use of other psychoactive substances. Part of the study involved identifying methodological issues in using surveys to study tranquilizer/sleeping pill use. Across surveys and within all age groups, females were more likely to use tranquilizers and/or sleeping pills than males, with an average ratio overall of a little higher than three to two (varying across surveys from 1.4 to 2.1; mode of 1.6). Prevalence rates for both females and males were strongly affected by timeframe over which use was measured. Use of tranquilizers/sleeping pills increased with age; however, the relationship with age was different for tranquilizers than for sleeping pills. For tranquilizers, the high correlation between age and use was largely attributable to the low rate of use by those aged 34 and younger. For sleeping pills, on the other hand, the relationship is based more on the high rate of use by those aged 65 and older. In addition, age was a major factor in nonmedical use of tranquilizers/sleeping pills, with nonmedical use decreasing dramatically with age. Use of other types of psychoactive medications was significantly higher among tranquilizer/sleeping pill users than among non-users. The results pertaining to concurrent use of tranquilizers/sleeping pills and alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco, however, showed some trends, but findings were not consistent across all surveys. Further analyses suggested that this lack of consistent findings might be attributable to survey design issues, in particular, the extent that the format of the survey question tended to exclude nonmedical users. The implications of these results for future research on tranquilizer/sleeping pill use are discussed.
Investigation of the prescriptions for tranquilizers and hypnotics issued in a provincial Danish town with approximately 30,000 inhabitants, revealed that 12% of all users over 40 years had received massive quantities of tranquilizers and hypnotics within one month, viz more than 100 defined daily doses/user. Only four recipients of massive prescriptions were found in the age group 16-39 years. In the group of recipients of massive prescriptions over the age of 60 years, it was found that persons entitled to medicine free-of-charge comprised every third or forth user. Recipients of massive prescriptions over the age of 40 years did not differ as regards age and sex from recipients of ordinary quantities, viz less than or equal to 100 defined daily doses/user/month. Differences in the frequencies of prescription of massive quantities could be demonstrated between the various general practices. These differences could not be correlated with differences in the ages of the general practitioners, types of practice or sizes of practice. A series of prescribing habits on the part of the practitioner appear to be of particular significance for prescription of massive quantities of tranquillizers and hypnotics. These include; the decision to prescribe hypnotics, choice of hypnotic and prescription of several tranquillizers and/or hypnotics simultaneously.
Morphology, culture requirements, and medicinal effects of Androsace septentrionalis L. (Primulaceae) are described. In mice, water extracts of the plant (.5 ml/100g body weight) produced disturbances of the menstrual cycle and infertility after copulation. Histological studies showed enlargement of glandular mucosa cells and increased uterine connective tissue. Compared with controls, more corpora lutea were found in the fallopian tubes of treated animals. The plant is used in Siberian folk medicine for angina, heart diseases, epilepsy, gonorrhea, and as a contraceptive. The contraceptive and tranquilizing effects of the water extract of Androsace were evident in this experimentation.
Antipsychotics and mood stabilisers are prescribed widely to patients with psychiatric disorders worldwide. Despite clear evidence for their efficacy in relapse prevention and symptom relief, their effect on some adverse outcomes, including the perpetration of violent crime, is unclear. We aimed to establish the effect of antipsychotics and mood stabilisers on the rate of violent crime committed by patients with psychiatric disorders in Sweden.
We used linked Swedish national registers to study 82,647 patients who were prescribed antipsychotics or mood stabilisers, their psychiatric diagnoses, and subsequent criminal convictions in 2006-09. We did within-individual analyses to compare the rate of violent criminality during the time that patients were prescribed these medications versus the rate for the same patients while they were not receiving the drugs to adjust for all confounders that remained constant within each participant during follow-up. The primary outcome was the occurrence of violent crime, according to Sweden's national crime register.
In 2006-09, 40,937 men in Sweden were prescribed antipsychotics or mood stabilisers, of whom 2657 (6?5%) were convicted of a violent crime during the study period. In the same period, 41,710 women were prescribed these drugs, of whom 604 (1?4 %) had convictions for violent crime. Compared with periods when participants were not on medication, violent crime fell by 45% in patients receiving antipsychotics (hazard ratio [HR] 0?55, 95% CI 0?47-0?64) and by 24% in patients prescribed mood stabilisers (0?76, 0?62-0?93). However, we identified potentially important differences by diagnosis-mood stabilisers were associated with a reduced rate of violent crime only in patients with bipolar disorder. The rate of violence reduction for antipsychotics remained between 22% and 29% in sensitivity analyses that used different outcomes (any crime, drug-related crime, less severe crime, and violent arrest), and was stronger in patients who were prescribed higher drug doses than in those prescribed low doses. Notable reductions in violent crime were also recorded for depot medication (HR adjusted for concomitant oral medications 0?60, 95% CI 0?39-0?92).
In addition to relapse prevention and psychiatric symptom relief, the benefits of antipsychotics and mood stabilisers might also include reductions in the rates of violent crime. The potential effects of these drugs on violence and crime should be taken into account when treatment options for patients with psychiatric disorders are being considered.
The Wellcome Trust, the Swedish Prison and Probation Service, the Swedish Research Council, and the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare.