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The information on the use of psychiatric medications in general population-based samples is limited. Our aim was to analyse the use of psychiatric medications and factors associated with antipsychotic use in psychoses in a general population sample. Fifty-five persons with schizophrenia, 21 with bipolar psychosis or psychotic depression and 20 with other psychoses from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 were examined at about 43 years of age. The frequency of use and dosage of psychiatric medication and the factors associated with the use of antipsychotics were analysed. Antipsychotics were used by 85% of schizophrenia, 65% of bipolar psychosis or psychotic depression and 62% of other psychoses cases; antidepressants were used by 22%, 60% and 33%; and benzodiazepines by 42%, 35% and 10%, respectively. In all the diagnostic groups, higher symptom scores and a higher number of hospital days were associated with the use of antipsychotics. In schizophrenia and other psychoses, poorer social and occupational functioning, and in other psychoses, female gender and lower education were also associated with the use of antipsychotics. Our results may partly indicate that, especially in schizophrenia, the effectiveness of antipsychotics is not as good as expected.

Original publication




Journal article


Psychiatry research

Publication Date





160 - 168


Research Unit of Clinical Neuroscience, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5000, FIN-90014, Oulu, Finland.


Humans, Benzodiazepines, Antipsychotic Agents, Antidepressive Agents, Cohort Studies, Bipolar Disorder, Depressive Disorder, Major, Psychotic Disorders, Schizophrenia, Sex Factors, Adult, Educational Status, Finland, Female, Male