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Acute Blood Pressure Changes Associated With Antipsychotic Administration to Psychiatric Inpatients

Kristin A. Parks, DO; Clayton G. Parks, MD; Johnathon P. Yost, MD; Jeffrey I. Bennett, MD; and Obiora E. Onwuameze, MD, PhD

Published: July 19, 2018

Article Abstract

Objective: To investigate blood pressure (BP) changes within the first 3 days after initiating antipsychotic medication in psychiatric inpatients.

Methods: Through retrospective chart review using a repeated measures design, vital signs data were collected on 60 adult psychiatric inpatients who were psychiatrically hospitalized May 26, 2011, through September 4, 2012, at 9 time points within 3 days of initiation of 1 of 6 different antipsychotic medications. The random sample included patients with the following DSM-IV-TR diagnoses: schizophrenia (n = 25), schizoaffective disorder (either type; n = 19), and bipolar I disorder (n = 16). Data were analyzed using mixed-effects repeated measures analysis of variance to evaluate associations between the antipsychotic initiated and subsequent changes in BP. The main outcome variable was change in BP from baseline, and independent variables included age, sex, psychiatric diagnosis, and type of antipsychotic medication. Logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between each type of antipsychotic and hypotension (BP < 90/60 mm Hg) and hypertension (BP 140/90 mm Hg).

Results: Olanzapine (P < .01) and risperidone (P = .01) raised systolic BP to a statistically significant degree during the first 3 days after initiation. Clozapine, on the other hand, significantly reduced systolic BP (P = .02) and was associated with hypotension on linear regression. No statistically significant associations were found between the other antipsychotics and acute systolic BP changes or between any of the 6 antipsychotics and diastolic BP changes.

Conclusions: Initiation of certain antipsychotic medications may be associated with statistically significant acute BP changes. These findings require further evaluation in well-designed prospective studies.

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