We designed this study to explore the relationship between an anxiety disorder diagnosis and the number of prescribed psychotropic medications. We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 337 psychiatry outpatients, who were being seen in a psychotherapy training clinic, with regard to psychiatric diagnosis and the number of psychotropic medications.We grouped diagnoses into three categories: (a) anxiety disorders, (b) mood disorders, and (c) other Axis I disorders.Approximately 16% of persons were prescribed no psychotropic medications, while 41.5%, 30.0%, 8.6%, 2.7%, and 0.9% were prescribed one, two, three, four, and five psychotropic medications, respectively. The proportion of individuals on more than one medication with anxiety disorders was significantly greater than the base rate in the overall sample (z = 3.21, p < .001) or the proportion diagnosed with mood (z = 2.53, p = .01) or other Axis I disorders (z = 3.90, p < .001). In addition, for persons who were diagnosed with different diagnostic groupings, when one was anxiety disorders, they were more likely to be prescribed multiple psychotropic medications. In an outpatient psychiatry clinic, an anxiety disorder diagnosis appears to heighten the likelihood of being prescribed a greater number of psychotropic medications.We discuss the possible implications of these findings in outpatient mental health settings.

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