Variation in schizophrenia treatment

Variation in schizophrenia treatment

May 18, 2012

Patients with schizophrenia who switched from haloperidol decanoate or fluphenazine decanoate to risperidone microspheres discontinued their treatment more frequently, according to a new study published in the March issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

Patients with schizophrenia who switched from haloperidol decanoate or fluphenazine decanoate to risperidone microspheres discontinued their treatment more frequently, according to a new study published in the March issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

The research was led by N.H. Covell, PhD, with the New York State Psychiatric Institute. From March 2004 through March 2008, Covell and researchers conducted a randomized, controlled trial of adult outpatients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Patients were randomly assigned to stay on their long-acting injectable medications (haloperidol decanoate or fluphenazine decanoate) or switch to risperidone microspheres. The patients were followed for 6 months, then an additional 6 months as a follow-up.

Time-to-treatment discontinuation was significantly shorter for individuals assigned to switch (31%) versus patients assigned to stay with their current medications (10%). In addition, “those randomized to switch to long-acting injectable risperidone microspheres had greater increases in body mass and prolactin,” Covell wrote.