Prescribing practice and off-label use of psychotropic medications in post-acute brain injury rehabilitation centres: A cross-sectional survey

Federica Edith Pisa, Giorgia Cosano, Manuela Giangreco, Tullio Giorgini, Emanuele Biasutti, Fabio Barbone, R. Formisano, M. G. Buzzi, C. Pistarini, B. Aiachini, N. Basaglia, A. Montis, L. F. Lucca, F. Lombardi, E. Ranza, M. Vallasciani, A. Celentano, A. Naldi, G. Castellani, G. LambertiB. Lanzillo, F. Posteraro, F. Logi, F. Molteni, M. Lanfranchi, C. Gramigna, G. Bertagnoni, P. Dell'Oste, P. Tonin, V. Iaia, F. Posteraro, L. Sagliocco, M. Beatrici, N. Giunta, T. Dore, G. Galardi, N. Sant'Angelo, R. Piperno, A. Battistini, M. Zampolini, F. Scarponi, V. Sanna, A. M. Biella, S. Premoselli, F. Zaro, K. Bernasconi, M. Carnovali, S. Chierici, R. Antenucci, G. P. Salvi, N. Mazzini, F. Ventura, M. C. Lonati, R. Brianti, P. Mammi, G. Molinero, A. De Tanti, C. Bertolino, P. Boldrini, S. Bargellesi, P. Boldrini, A. Tessari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Guidance on pharmacotherapy of neurobehavioural sequelae post-acquired brain injury (ABI) is limited. Clinicians face the choice of prescribing off-label. This survey assesses prescribing practice and off-label use of psychotropic medications in Italian brain injury rehabilitation centres and factors associated with atypical antipsychotics use. Materials and methods: Centres were identified through the roster of the Italian Society for Rehabilitation Medicine. Information was collected through a structured questionnaire. This study calculated the prevalence of centres reporting to use off-label individual medications and unconditional logistic regression Odds Ratio (OR), with 95% confidence interval (95% CI) of atypical antipsychotics use. Results: Psychotropic medications were commonly used. More than 50% of the 35 centres (participation ratio 87.5%) reported to use off-label selected antipsychotics, mostly for agitation (90.5%) and behavioural disturbances (19.0%), and antidepressants, mostly for insomnia (37.5%) and pain (25.0%). Atypical antipsychotic use was directly associated with age

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)508-516
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Injury
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Acquired brain injuries
  • Antidepressants
  • Antiepileptic agents
  • Antipsychotics
  • Off-label
  • Pharmacoepidemiology
  • Prescribing
  • Prevalence
  • Psychotropic medications
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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