Author(s): Kane JM, GarciaRibera C
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Long-acting injections (LAIs) of antipsychotic drugs were developed over 40 years ago in an attempt to improve the long-term treatment of schizophrenia. AIMS: To review existing guidelines concerning antipsychotic use generally, and LAIs in particular, and how patients might be identified as potential candidates for LAI treatment. METHOD: Literature review. RESULTS: Currently several first-generation and one second-generation antipsychotic LAIs are available, with others under development. Although the use of LAIs is widespread around the world, patterns of use vary widely. Important considerations regarding the use of LAIs include the indications for long-term pharmacotherapy in schizophrenia in general, the indications for LAIs, the risks associated with LAIs, the need to update guidelines and the issue of cost. CONCLUSIONS: The use of these injections in first-episode psychosis and treatment-refractory schizophrenia is not currently a focus of recommendations, but should be considered. Long-acting injections remain an underutilised option in many countries despite frequent non-adherence with oral medication and subsequent relapse.
This article was published in Br J Psychiatry Suppl
and referenced in Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology & Mental Health