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Exploring adverse drug reactions in psychotropic medications: A retrospective analysis of portuguese pharmacovigilance data

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Psychotropic drugs (PDs) include anxiolytics, sedatives and hypnotics, antidepressants, and antipsychotics, and they are available as medicines with different safety profiles. Given Portugal’s high anxiolytic consumption and the rising prevalence of mental disorders, safety monitoring is crucial. This study aimed to analyze the individual case safety reports (ICSR) of suspected adverse drug reactions (ADRs) related to PDs, obtained through spontaneous reporting, and recorded in the Portuguese National Pharmacovigilance System between January 2017 and December 2021. This observational and retrospective study analyzed the ICSRs of suspected ADRs to PDs. Most reports pertained to female individuals (67.78%) between 18 and 64 years of age (63.71%). The pharmaceutical industry was the primary source of these reports (62.16%). Antidepressants were responsible for most ICSRs (61.90%). At least one serious ADR was recorded in 58.44% of the reports, and 43.84% of ADRs evolved into “cure”. The most-observed ADRs were nausea (10.92%), dizziness (10.70%), and off-label use (10.30%). In the causality assessment, 45.49% of ADRs were classified as “possible”, and only 4.96% were classified as “definitive”. The current analysis helps to strengthen the safety evidence for PDs. In the future, some measures could be implemented to improve the use of and/or access to PDs, as well as to reinforce the rate of suspected ADR reports within the community, contributing to the safety data available.



Adverse drug reaction Pharmacovigilance Psychotropic drugs Spontaneous report


12 (8): 808 (2024)

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