Author(s): Taylor M, Ng KY
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Abstract BACKGROUND: The relapse rate after a first episode of schizophrenia is high, often due to non-adherence with medication. Long-acting injections of antipsychotics (LAI) are used to promote adherence to medication. OBJECTIVE: To review the literature on the use of LAIs in first-episode and early schizophrenia. METHOD: A systematic electronic search of all original data containing peer-reviewed studies published in English using EMBASE, MEDLINE, Cochrane and PsychINFO from the onset of records. Reference lists from retrieved articles were examined for further relevant studies. RESULTS: Ten studies were identified: two cohort studies; three randomised controlled trials; and five open studies. These studies, although limited, demonstrated the effectiveness of LAI in early schizophrenia. Seven of the 10 studies had risperidone long-acting injection as the only LAI. CONCLUSION: LAIs may be useful in the treatment of early schizophrenia in terms of symptom control and relapse reduction, particularly if chosen by the patient or when medication adherence is a priority. There is a need for a large-scale, randomised controlled trial comparing oral and LAI antipsychotics to assess long-term outcomes.
This article was published in Aust N Z J Psychiatry
and referenced in Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology & Mental Health