Use of psychotropic medication in Santiago, Chile

Graciela Rojas*, Rosemarie Fritsch, Jorge Gaete, Isabel González, Ricardo Araya

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: During the last few decades, the use of psychotropic medication by the general population has been a topic of scientific and public interest. However there have been few studies in Latin America to assess this situation.

Aims: To study the prevalence in use of psychotropic medication in the city of Santiago and the associations with sociodemographic and physical and mental health factors.

Methods: Cross-sectional survey of private households randomly chosen with a probabilistic sampling design.

Results: Three-thousand-eight-hundred-and-seventy subjects were interviewed. The overall prevalence of the use of psychotropic medication in Greater Santiago was 6.4% (95% CI). Sex, age, mental and physical health problems were all significantly associated with a higher prevalence of psychotropic medication use.

Conclusions: The prevalence of psychotropic use in the Greater Santiago area seems lower than in other cities. However similar socio-demographic and health factors were associated with the use of psychotropic medication as in other countries. There is a need to unify methodologies to be able to compare results internationally.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-414
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Mental Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Correspondence: Graciela Rojas, Hospital Clínico, Av. La Paz 1003, Santiago, Chile. E-mail: Declaration of interest: This study was funded by the European Community and FONDECYT.


  • Psychotropic drugs
  • Epidemiology
  • Urban population


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