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Relapse and rehospitalisation rates in patients with schizophrenia: effects of second generation antipsychotics

, : Relapse and rehospitalisation rates in patients with schizophrenia: effects of second generation antipsychotics. Cns Drugs 16(7): 473-484

Recent studies suggest that the risk of relapse in patients with schizophrenia is approximately 3.5% per month. Predictors of more frequent relapses include poor compliance with antipsychotic drug treatment, severe residual psychopathology, poor insight into the illness and the need for treatment, comorbid substance abuse, and poor relationships between patients, families and care providers. Although conventional antipsychotic drugs, such as haloperidol and fluphenazine, are effective in preventing relapse, second generation antipsychotic drugs, such as clozapine, risperidone and olanzapine, appear to be superior in preventing relapse and improving the patient's quality of life. The development of adverse events can undermine treatment response and relapse prevention. Minimising adverse effects thus helps to improve treatment compliance and prevent relapse. Second generation antipsychotic drugs tend to have fewer adverse effects than conventional agents, especially pseudoparkinsonism and akathisia. The societal costs of treating patients with schizophrenia can be lessened by employing strategies that decrease relapse and the need for rehospitalisation, the most costly treatment alternative.


PMID: 12056922

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