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Why aren't depot antipsychotics prescribed more often and what can be done about it?

  • Maxine X. Patel and Anthony S. David

Long-acting depot antipsychotics were developed specifically to promote treatment adherence (compliance) and they are a valuable option for patients requiring maintenance medication for schizophrenia. Depot use has fallen in recent years, perhaps owing to the introduction of oral atypical antipsychotics. Psychiatrist and patient acceptance of depot medication is variable. The depot formulation and the traditional ‘depot clinic’ seem to have an image problem, although many patients already receiving depot medication like it. Some psychiatrists may not adequately consider the risks and benefits when contemplating prescribing depot medication. Further, public opinion and planning forces in psychiatric health services may have a negative influence on the use of long-acting treatments. This review considers possible reasons for underutilisation of depot antipsychotics in maintenance treatment of schizophrenia and highlights the potential benefits and future role of depot drugs.

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BJPsych Advances
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Why aren't depot antipsychotics prescribed more often and what can be done about it?

  • Maxine X. Patel and Anthony S. David
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