Lower-Dose Antipsychotics Benefit Patients with Schizophrenia

NEW ORLEANS — Patients with treatment-refractory schizophrenia in a long-term forensic facility showed significant stability following reduced doses of long-acting injectable antipsychotics, a study revealed. Dr Mujeeb Shad “There is an argument by some experts in the field that state hospital populations represent a different set of patients who require higher antipsychotic dosages, with no … Read more

High-Dose Antipsychotics Effective in Refractory Schizophrenia

NEW ORLEANS – Patients with severe schizophrenia who fail to respond to treatment with standard doses of second-generation antipsychotics show significant improvement with – and tolerance of – higher maintenance doses of the drugs, new research shows. Dr Juan Jose Fernandez-Miranda The use of [higher doses of] long-acting injectable second-generation antipsychotics shows improvement not only … Read more

Antipsychotic Tied to Weight Gain, Higher Cholesterol

Increases in use of the antipsychotic risperidone (Risperdal) are associated with small dose-related increases in both weight and blood cholesterol levels, new research suggests. Investigators analyzed 1-year data for more than 400 patients who were taking risperidone and/or its metabolite paliperidone (Invega). Results showed increments of 1 mg of risperidone-equivalent doses were associated with an … Read more

Early Metformin Minimizes Antipsychotic-Induced Weight Gain

MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina ― Psychiatrists should prescribe metformin early to patients who experience rapid weight gain after they begin taking antipsychotic drugs, according to a new evidence-based Irish guideline for the management of this common complication in adults with psychoses who are taking medications. The document was discussed during one of the sessions of … Read more

Quick Pivot Upheld Schizophrenia Care During COVID

During the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health clinics in the United States successfully upheld the standard of care for patients with schizophrenia using telepsychiatry and long-acting injectable antipsychotics (LAIs), a new survey data show. “Mental health centers rose to the challenge and did what they needed to do for their patients,” study investigator Dawn Velligan, PhD, … Read more

Antipsychotic Safe, Effective for Resistant Depression

Cariprazine (Vraylar) is a safe and effective adjunctive treatment for adults with major depressive disorder (MDD) who have an inadequate response to antidepressant monotherapy, new results from a phase 3 study show. Already approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat adults with schizophrenia and manic, mixed, or depressive episodes of bipolar … Read more

Lithium May Lower Osteoporosis Risk in Bipolar Disorder

NEW ORLEANS — People with bipolar disorder – particularly men – show a significantly increased risk of osteoporosis, compared with the general population, but treatment with lithium appears to offer a significant protective effect against the bone disease, according to results from the largest study of its kind. Dr Soren Ostergaard “Our findings emphasize that … Read more

Clozapine and Cancer Risk: New Data

Dr. Jari Tiihonen Long-term treatment with clozapine is associated with a small, but significant, risk of hematological malignancies in individuals with schizophrenia, new research shows. Investigators found long-term clozapine use of more than 5 years was linked to a 2.7-fold increased risk of hematological malignancies in a dose-dependent manner compared with other antipsychotics. “Our results … Read more

Do Psychotropic Meds Raise or Lower COVID Risk?

Editor’s note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center. Different psychotropic medications are associated with different risks of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients with serious mental illness, a new study suggests. Investigators found that second-generation antipsychotics were associated with a 48% lower risk of COVID-19, while valproic acid was associated with … Read more

Antipsychotic Switch Rates Suggest ‘Suboptimal’ FEP Prescribing

High rates of antipsychotic switching in first episode psychosis (FEP) suggests first-line prescribing is less than optimal and does not follow recent clinical guidance. In a large-scale, real-world analysis of researchers UK prescribing patterns, found more than two thirds of patients who received antipsychotics for FEP switched medication and almost half switched drugs three times. … Read more