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Data from the USA, Australia and Europe suggest that the proportion of patients with schizophrenia prescribed an antipsychotic long-acting injection (LAI) varies from around a quarter to a third. Use of LAIs has been associated with male gender and younger age.
To characterise the use of LAIs in people with schizophrenia in three clinical settings in the UK.
The study used audit data from quality improvement programmes conducted by the Prescribing Observatory for Mental Health.
Long-acting injections were found to be prescribed for between a quarter and a third of patients, depending on the clinical setting. Flupentixol, risperidone and zuclopenthixol were most commonly prescribed and were combined with an oral antipsychotic in half of cases, frequently constituting high-dose prescribing. The use of LAIs was not consistently associated with age, gender or ethnicity.
Antipsychotic LAIs are commonly prescribed. We did not replicate previous findings with respect to demographic variables associated with their use.
Declaration of interest
Over the past 3 years T.B. has acted as consultant to Servier, Johnson & Johnson and Bristol-Myers Squibb, and C.P. has acted as a consultant to Eli Lilly.
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