4329.0.00.003 - Patterns of Use of Mental Health Services and Prescription Medications, 2011  
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ANXIOLYTICS/HYPNOTICS AND SEDATIVES

Anxiolytic medications are preparations used in the treatment of neuroses and psychosomatic disorders associated with anxiety and tension, and Hypnotics and sedatives are preparations with mainly sedative or hypnotic actions[1].

NUMBER OF PEOPLE ACCESSING ANXIOLYTIC/HYPNOTIC AND SEDATIVE MEDICATIONS IN 2011

There were 921,100 people (4.3% of the Australian population) who had at least one PBS subsidised prescription for Anxiolytic/Hypnotic and sedative medications filled in 2011.

Overall, females were more likely than males to have had a prescription for Anxiolytic/Hypnotic and sedative medications filled in 2011 (5.4% compared with 3.1% respectively). Rates of use increased with age, and particularly sharply around ages 65-74 years. Almost one-quarter (23.0%) of women aged 75 years and over had at least one PBS subsidised prescription for an Anxiolytic/Hypnotic and sedative medication filled in 2011.

Graph Image for Proportion of population accessing PBS subsidised Anxiolytics, Hypnotics and sedative medications in 2011

Source(s): The Mental Health Services-Census Integrated Dataset



For information on other socio-demographic characteristics of people who accessed at least one PBS subsidised Anxiolytic/Hypnotic and sedative medication in 2011 see Datacube Table 2.

COMBINATIONS OF TREATMENT TYPE

Of all people who had at least one PBS subsidised prescription for Anxiolytic/Hypnotic and sedative medications in 2011, nearly half (46.7%) also had at least one PBS subsidised prescription filled for Antidepressant medications in 2011, while 17.5% also had at least one MBS subsidised mental health-related consultation with a GP.

Almost half (44.8%) had only a prescription for Anxiolytic/Hypnotic and sedative medications filled in 2011, with no other type of MBS or PBS subsidised mental health-related treatment in 2011. When interpreting this, it should be noted that some consultations with health professionals at which Anxiolytic/Hypnotic and sedative medications were prescribed may not have been recorded as a mental-health related service, or may have occurred earlier than 2011. These consultations were not captured in the Mental Health Services-Census Integrated Dataset on which this analysis is based.

Graph Image for Proportion of pop. accessing PBS subsidised Anxiolytics etc. medication in 2011, by type of service and or medication

Source(s): The Mental Health Services-Census Integrated Dataset



For information on socio-demographic characteristics of people who accessed at least one PBS subsidised Anxiolytic/Hypnotic and sedative medication in 2011 in combination with other treatment types see Datacube Table 2.

NUMBER OF PRESCRIPTIONS FOR ANXIOLYTICS/HYPNOTICS AND SEDATIVES FILLED IN 2011

People who had at least one PBS subsidised prescription for Anxiolytic/Hypnotic and sedatives medication filled in 2011 had an average of 5.3 scripts filled in the year. Around one-third (37.4%) had only one Anxiolytic/Hypnotic and sedative script filled and a further 29.7% had 2–4 scripts filled in 2011.

Graph Image for Proportion of people who had an Anxiolytic, Hypnotic, or Sedative medication in 2011, by number of prescriptions(a)

Footnote(s): (a) People who had at least one Anxiolytic, Hypnotic or Sedative medication in 2011.

Source(s): The Mental Health Services-Census Integrated Dataset



While females were more likely than males to have had a prescription for Anxiolytic/Hypnotic and sedative medications filled in 2011 (5.4% compared with 3.1% respectively), their average number of scripts were similar (5.3 scripts on average for females and 5.4 for males).

Of people who had at least one PBS subsidised prescription for Anxiolytic/Hypnotic and sedative medications filled in 2011, people with a need for assistance with core activities (for example, those relating to self-care, communication and mobility) had the highest average number of scripts filled (7.3 scripts compared with 4.7 scripts on average for people with no need for assistance).

Across age, people aged 35-44 years and 45-54 years had the highest average number of scripts for Anxiolytic/Hypnotic and sedatives medication filled (6.5 and 6.6 scripts in 2011, respectively), while children aged 0-14 years had the lowest (2.1 scripts). Similarly, people living in the most disadvantaged areas of Australia had higher average numbers of scripts compared with people in least disadvantaged areas (6.0 scripts on average compared with 4.3 respectively).

For information on other socio-demographic characteristics of people who accessed at least one PBS subsidised Anxiolytic/Hypnotic and sedative medication in 2011 by number of prescriptions filled, see Datacube Table 5.


ENDNOTES

1. WHO Collaborating Centre for Drug Statistics Methodology, 2013, Guidelines for ATC classification and DDD assignment. <http://www.whocc.no/filearchive/publications/1_2013guidelines.pdf>, last accessed 18/03/2016.