Substantial increase in number and dosage of antipsychotics in non-responsive vs. responsive schizophrenia inpatients

Roni Shiloh*, Igor Gutnik, Abraham Weizman, Hanan Munitz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Current clinical guidelines recommend the use of a single antipsychotic drug for acute schizophrenic exacerbation. We examined whether this approach is also employed in non-responsive schizophrenia inpatients. METHODS: Forty-one consecutively admitted schizophrenic inpatients were assigned into a study group [n = 22; non-responsive (Δ BPRS < 10%) to two consecutive trials of antipsychotics prior to and following 24 weeks of hospitalization] and a comparison group [In = 19; partial-to-good (Δ BPRS = 10-27%) responders under similar settings]. RESULTS: The number and dosage of antipsychotics were increased by 34% and 40% (P = 0.016 and P = 0.062, respectively) in the study group compared to the comparison subjects following 24 weeks of hospitalization. In the study group, a significant correlation was found between the number of antipsychotics administered and their dose (r = 0.22, n = 88, P = 0.04). CONCLUSION: Clinicians do not comply with evidence-based algorithms, and treat non-responsive schizophrenia inpatients with a combination of antipsychotics and at substantially higher doses compared to partial-to-good responders. Our findings discourage such practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-57
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2003

Keywords

  • Antipsychotic drugs
  • Responders
  • Schizophrenia

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