Use of psychotropic drugs among older patients with bladder cancer in the United States

Usama Jazzar, Cristiane D. Bergerot, Yong Shan, Christopher J.D. Wallis, Stephen J. Freedland, Ashish M. Kamat, Douglas S. Tyler, Jacques Baillargeon, Yong Fang Kuo, Zachary Klaassen, Stephen B. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: Older patients diagnosed with cancer are at increased risk of physical and emotional distress; however, prescription utilization patterns largely remain to be elucidated. Our objective was to comprehensively assess prescription patterns and predictors in older patients with bladder cancer. Methods: A total of 10,516 older patients diagnosed with clinical stage T1–T4a, N0, M0 bladder urothelial carcinoma from 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2012 from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare were analyzed. We used multivariable analysis to determine predictors associated with psychotropic prescription rates (one or more). Medication possession ratio (MPR) was used as an index to measure adherence in intervals of 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years. Evaluation of psychotropic prescribing patterns and adherence across different drugs and demographic factors was done. Results: Of the 10,516 older patients, 5621 (53%) were prescribed psychotropic drugs following cancer diagnosis. Overall, 3972 (38%) patients had previous psychotropic prescriptions prior to cancer diagnosis, and these patients were much more likely to receive a post-cancer diagnosis prescription. Prescription rates for psychotropic medications were higher among patients with higher stage BC (p < 0.001). Gamma aminobutyric acid modulators/stimulators and serotonin reuptake inhibitors/stimulators were the highest prescribed psychotropic drugs in 21% of all patients. Adherence for all drugs was 32% at 3 months and continued to decrease over time. Conclusion: Over half of the patients received psychotropic prescriptions within 2 years of their cancer diagnosis. Given the chronicity of psychiatric disorders with observed significantly low adherence to medications that warrants an emphasis on prolonged patient monitoring and further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)832-843
Number of pages12
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • SEER
  • bladder cancer
  • cancer
  • drugs
  • medications
  • oncology
  • psychiatric
  • psychotropic
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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