Early Stop of Antipsychotics May Lead to Poor Outcomes in Schizophrenia

Addressing mental health in the Black community is one thing, but following through with seeking treatment and continuing on with it until the end is an entirely different hurdle. This is important because medications are prescribed during some treatments and must be monitored for effectiveness and in some cases adverse side effects. Furthermore, a follow-up study suggests, discontinuing antipsychotic medication in some patients with first-episode psychosis may be harmful and have an even worse outcome than not taking the medication at all.

“In patients with first-episode psychosis with a full initial response to treatment, medication continuation for at least the first 3 years after starting treatment decreases the risk of relapse and poor long-term clinical outcome,” Dr. Christy L. M. Hui of the University of Hong Kong and colleagues write in The Lancet Psychiatry.

Dr. Hui and her colleagues conducted a ten-year follow-up study of a randomized double-blind clinical trial conducted at seven treatment centers. In the trial, 89 patients with first-episode psychosis with full positive symptom resolution after one year or more of antipsychotic treatment were given 12 months of maintenance treatment (oral quetiapine 400 mg daily) and 89 others were given a placebo.

The researchers defined poor outcome as persistent psychotic symptoms, the need for