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Do antipsychotic drugs lose their efficacy for relapse prevention over time?

  • Stefan Leucht (a1) and John M. Davis (a2)
Summary

There is a debate about long-term treatment of schizophrenia with antipsychotic drugs, with some experts suggesting that these drugs should be discontinued. In this issue, Takeuchi et al demonstrated by a meta-analysis of 11 trials that antipsychotic drugs maintained their efficacy for relapse prevention for 1 year, whereas patients on placebo kept getting worse. We consider these findings in the light of the current discussion about possible dose-related brain volume loss, supersensitivity psychosis, the high variability of results in long-term follow-up studies and recent approaches to discontinue antipsychotics in patients with a first-episode. The new findings speak in favour of continuing antipsychotics at the same dose, at least in patients whose condition is chronic, but the topic is complex.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Stefan Leucht, MD, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Technische Universität München, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Ismaningerstr. 22, 81675 Munich, Germany
Footnotes
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See pp. 137–143, this issue.

Declaration of interest

In the past 3 years S.L. has received honoraria for consulting from LB Pharma, Lundbeck, Otsuka, Roche, and TEVA, for lectures from AOP Orphan, ICON, Janssen, Lilly, Lundbeck, Otsuka, Sanofi, Roche, and Servier, and for a publication from Roche.

Footnotes
References
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Do antipsychotic drugs lose their efficacy for relapse prevention over time?

  • Stefan Leucht (a1) and John M. Davis (a2)
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