Clinical Practice & Epidemiology in Mental Health

ISSN: 1745-0179 ― Volume 16, 2020

Psychotropic Medication of Acute Episodes of Mood Disorders: Current Prescription Attitude in Two Psychiatric Wards in Cagliari, Italy

Gioia Baggiani1, Luca Ambrosiani1, Pierfranco Trincas2, Caterina Burrai3, Alberto Bocchetta1, *
1 Section of Neuroscience and Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy
2 Psychiatric Ward Unit 2, “Santissima Trinità Hospital”, ATS Sardegna, ASSL Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy
3 Psychiatric Ward Unit 1, “Santissima Trinità Hospital”, ATS Sardegna, ASSL Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy



Medication of acute episodes of mood disorders has changed over the last decades following the results of randomized clinical trials.


The aim of this study was to analyze medication prescribed at discharge from two psychiatric wards. We focused on hospitalization as one of the best opportunities to start prophylaxis.


We examined retrospectively the clinical records of 357 patients hospitalized for mood episodes in two psychiatric wards in the Cagliari area (SPDC-1 and SPDC-2) between 1 January and 31 December 2016. We focused on the psychotropic medication prescribed at discharge from the hospital.


Most patients were discharged with antipsychotics (86%) and/or benzodiazepines (89%). Combined medication was frequent, including various co-administration of first-generation and/or second-generation antipsychotics (26% of patients), or antipsychotics combined with mood-stabilizers (51% of patients). There was a preferential prescription of first-generation antipsychotics in SPDC-1, and of second-generation antipsychotics in SPDC-2. Prescription of lithium was significantly more frequent in SPDC-1.


Although the treatment was in line with randomized clinical trials, the choice of individual psychotropic agents differed significantly between the two wards. Different prescription attitudes can have consequences on the long-term outcome of patients discharged from the hospital after an acute mood episode.

Keywords: Mood disorders, Bipolar and related disorders, Suicide, Lithium, Valproic Acid, Carbamazepine, Lamotrigine, Antipsychotic agents.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2018
Volume: 14
First Page: 236
Last Page: 249
Publisher Id: CPEMH-14-236
DOI: 10.2174/1745017901814010236

Article History:

Received Date: 17/5/2018
Revision Received Date: 25/9/2018
Acceptance Date: 2/10/2018
Electronic publication date: 30/10/2018
Collection year: 2018

© 2018 Baggiani et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Section of Neurosciences and Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Cagliari, via Ospedale 46, 09124 Cagliari, Italy, Tel: +39 070 6092321; Fax: +39 070 653584; E-mail:

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