Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci.  2011 Aug;9(2):45-53.

Second-Generation Antipsychotic Discontinuation in First Episode Psychosis: An Updated Review

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior, Georgia Health Sciences University, Augusta, GA, USA. brmiller@georgiahealth.edu

Abstract

"All-causes discontinuation" refers to discontinuation of treatment for any reason, and medication adherence is an important component of this measure. Similar to our previous results, we found that almost 30% of patients with first-episode psychosis (FEP) discontinue medication in the first 9 months of treatment, a finding that has important implications for long-term outcomes. Many newer second-generation antipsychotics have not been studied in FEP. The self-reported Drug Attitude Inventory may help identify patients at heightened risk for medication discontinuation. In addition to vigilant monitoring for and adequate treatment of psychopathology and medication side effects, Relapse Prevention Therapy and the use of long-acting injectable agents may be effective interventions decrease discontinuation rates in FEP. There is currently no consensus on how long a patient should remain on an antipsychotic medication following remission of FEP. Studies are needed to identify predictors of which patients in remission from FEP are less likely to relapse when medication is discontinued. Taken together, our findings presented here underscore the importance of addressing medication discontinuation both as a means of preventing long-term morbidity and enhancing remission and functional recovery in FEP.

Keyword

Schizophrenia; Antipsychotic agents; Patient nonadherence; Epidemiology
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