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Clozapine prescribing in the UK: views and experience of consultant psychiatrists

Tungaraza, Tongeji E.; Farooq, Saeed


Tongeji E. Tungaraza


It has been repeatedly shown that clozapine is underutilized and there is delayed use of it in clinical practice.
An online survey was sent to 2771 consultant psychiatrists registered with the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK. A total of 243 responded to this survey. The survey elicited their views and experiences in using clozapine as well as to identify what may be the underlying causes for its underutilization.
Over 75% acknowledged that they had good training in using clozapine and about 56% had clozapine-dedicated service. However, 40.5% preferred to use several other antipsychotics prior to considering clozapine. A third felt it was not safe to start clozapine in the community and 42% had less than five patients on clozapine. Eleven possible reasons for clozapine underutilization were identified including concerns about side effects, patients not wanting to have blood tests and lack of experience or knowledge. Knowledge deficiency in certain aspects of clozapine use were identified, e.g. a third of respondents did not know that the risk of agranulocytosis changes with time, 42.7% did not think that clozapine can reduce substance use, while 20% were not aware of its benefit in reducing suicidal risk.
Important areas of concern such as managing side effects and deficiency in evidence-based use of clozapine were identified. These can be targeted in training and professional development programme.


Tungaraza, T. E., & Farooq, S. (2015). Clozapine prescribing in the UK: views and experience of consultant psychiatrists. Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology, 5(2), 88-96.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Jan 18, 2015
Publication Date 2015-04
Deposit Date Nov 29, 2023
Journal Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology
Print ISSN 2045-1253
Electronic ISSN 2045-1261
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 5
Issue 2
Pages 88-96
Keywords Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (miscellaneous); Psychology (miscellaneous)
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