Objectives: Polypharmacy has emerged as a standard clinical practice in treating psychiatric disorders. This study investigates the prevalence of polypharmacy among patients treated for common psychiatric disorders and the factors associated with this practice. Methods: The current cross-sectional study included all the prescriptions that were issued over the period between October 2018 and January 2019 for patients diagnosed with anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, schizoaffective and bipolar disorders in an outpatient psychiatry clinic in the north of West Bank, Palestine. Results: A total of 1045 prescriptions were analyzed. The mean age of the patients for whom the prescriptions were made was 47.3 years (SD= 13.6); half were between 36 and 55 years old, and one-third were females. Half of the cases were diagnosed with schizophrenia, while the rest were diagnosed with bipolar, depression, schizoaffective, or anxiety. Polypharmacy was found in 877 prescriptions (84%). One-third of the patients have been prescribed two drugs, while one-third received three, and the rest received four or more. Patients with schizophrenia, schizoaffective and bipolar disorders have a higher rate of polypharmacy than patients with anxiety and depression (p=0.000). Patients aged 36 and 55 were more likely to have polypharmacy than younger or older ones (p=0.001). The rate of polypharmacy was not different according to gender. Multi-class, adjunctive, and same-class polypharmacy was found in 81%, 50%, and 32% of the prescriptions. Conclusions: Our results suggest that polypharmacy among psychiatric patients is common in Palestine. Age and diagnosis should pay more attention to selected patients to avoid harmful drug-drug interactions.

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