Gender differences in psychotropic medicine dispensing at a pharmacy in Melbourne, Australia, 1954 and 1961

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An examination of psychotropic dispensing by gender in historic prescription books could help trace the origins of psychopharmacology in Australia. This study examined gender differences in psychotropic medicine dispensing at a Melbourne pharmacy during the 1950s and 1960s. Data were sourced from two prescription books. Numbers of prescriptions dispensed in 1954 and 1961 were calculated for each gender and adjusted for population size. More prescriptions were dispensed for females than for males, by factors of 2 and 1.7 to 1 in 1954 and 1961, respectively. is differential persisted across prescription type (barbiturate psychotropic, non-barbiturate psychotropic, and non-psychotropic). Psychotropic dispensing shifted from barbiturates (77% in 1954; 38% in 1961) to newer, safer non-barbiturates (23% in 1954; 62% in 1961), irrespective of gender.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-73
Number of pages9
JournalPharmaceutical Historian
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019

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