Use of psychiatric medication in a rural community in south Brazil

Leonardo Vieira Targa, Aline Bulla, Joana Marques, Gabriela Oliveira, Cristiano Raymondi


Introduction: Psychoactive drugs are important therapeutic resources. Misuse may constitute a risk to health by drug interactions, addictiveness, side effects and costs. Mental health care in rural communities presents often differences from urban areas, where most policies are planned for. Mental disorders prevalence can also be different.

Objective: Evaluate the frequency of psychotropic drugs use, type of drugs used, demographic data of user population and type of drug delivery in a rural community in southern Brazil.

Methodology or experience description: A review of medical records and prescriptions from local primary care unit plus community health workers inquiry has been done for demographic and pharmacological information, whether the supply was public or purchase. A map was prepared using aerial photos trying to discover any specific territorial distribution. The data, collected by medical students of rural internship with the local family doctor help, were treated anonymously.

Results: We identified 199 psychotropic drugs users (150 women (75.37%) and 49 men (24.63%)) in this community of 2,000 people, representing a prevalence of approximately 10%, which is below our literature findings. The mean age was 55.01 years (16-94), and there was a progressive increase with age until the age of 50-60 years, after that declining significantly. Antidepressants were the most used class, especially the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, followed by tricyclics and benzodiazepines. 77.8% of users receive the medication free of the health system. No territorial distribution patterns of usage were found

Conclusions or Hypothesis: More women use psychiatric drugs with high public distribution. Antidepressants were the most often drug prescribed. Good quality of life, strong sense of cultural belonging, access to health services, and the profile of training of health professionals may have favorably influenced the rational use of drugs. Ways of selection and size of the sample hamper the extrapolation of data.



Psychotropic Drugs ; Rural Health; Mental Health

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