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Pharmacoepidemiology of psychotropic drugs: examples of current research challenges on major public health issues

  • Hélène Verdoux (a1), Marie Tournier (a1) and Bernard Bégaud (a1)

Summary

Background – As a large number of persons are exposed to prescribed psychotropic drugs, their utilisation and impact should be further explored at the population level. Aims – To illustrate the interest of pharmacoepidemiological studies of psychotropic drugs by selected examples of major public health issues. Method – Selective review of the literature. Results – Many questions remain unsolved regarding the behavioural teratogenicity of prenatal exposure to psychotropic drugs, the impact of their increasing use in children, the long-term cognitive consequences of exposure to benzodiazepines, and the risks associated with extension of indications of antipsychotic drugs. Conclusion – Pharmacoepidemiological studies need to be further developed owing to the large number of public health questions raised by the extensive and expanding use of psychotropic drugs.

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Corresponding author

Professor H. Verdoux, Hôpital Charles Perrens, 121 rue de la Béchade, 33076 Bordeaux Cedex (France). Fax: +33-556-563546 E-mail: helene.verdoux@bordeaux2.fr

References

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