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M.E. Han, S.B. Bell, D. Rutner, N. Kapoor, K.J. Ciuffreda, I.B. Suchoff; Medications Prescribed to Brain Injury Patients: A Retrospective Analysis . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2005;46(13):5038.
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Purpose: Little is known about the type and frequency of medications prescribed to the acquired brain injury (ABI) population. Only one study was conducted, but it had a small sample size (n=50) and combined all ABI subgroups. The purpose of this analysis was to evaluate retrospectively the frequency of medications in a large population of patients with either traumatic brain injury (TBI) or cerebrovascular accident (CVA) treated in a university–based rehabilitation population. Methods:Charts of active patients in the Raymond J. Greenwald Rehabilitation Center at the SUNY State College of Optometry from the years 2000–2003 were obtained using a computer–based query. 300 hundred charts were randomly selected from a group of 486. Only patients with TBI (n=160) and CVA (n=60) were included. Patients taking medications in the following categories were identified: cardiac/anti–hypertensives, anti–diabetics, anti–anxiety/anti–depressants, CNS stimulants, prescription analgesics (non–OTC), anti–asthmatics, anti–convulsants, anti–psychotics, anti–histamines, hormone supplements, vitamin/mineral supplements, and herbal remedies. Results: : The total number of medications taken by the TBI and CVA patients were 499 and 246, respectively. Percentages were based on the total number of classifications of each medication divided by the total number of TBI patients and of CVA patients. The four most common categories of medications taken by TBI patients were anti–anxiety/anti–depressants (42.5%), anti–convulsants (26.9%), prescription analgesics (23.8%), and cardiac/anti–hypertensives (23.1%). In the CVA patients, the most common were: cardiac/anti–hypertensives (66.7%), anti–anxiety/anti–depressants (31.7%), vitamins/mineral supplements (26.7%), and anti–convulsants (23.3%). Conclusions:Three out of the four main categories of drugs taken by both groups overlapped. These medications, specifically anti–anxiety, anti–depressants and anti–convulsants, have ocular and visual side effects that can manifest to a greater degree in these patients. Such side effects, along with drug–drug interactions, have the potential to either hinder or lengthen the rehabilitation process as well as adversely impact on the quality of life.
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