Twenty-year effects of antipsychotics in schizophrenia and affective psychotic disorders

“This study reports multiple findings that bring into question the use of continuous antipsychotic medications, regardless of diagnosis …”

This study by Prof. Martin Harrow, Dr. Thomas Jobe and Dr. Liping Tong has been published in Psychological Medicine. The abstract says:

Background: Studies that examine course and outcome in psychosis have reported considerable heterogeneity in terms of recovery, remission, employment, symptom presentation, social outcomes, and antipsychotic medication effects. Even with demonstrated heterogeneity in course and outcome, prophylactic antipsychotic maintenance therapy remains the prominent practice, particularly in participants with schizophrenia. Lack of efficacy in maintenance antipsychotic treatment and concerns over health detriments gives cause to re-examine guidelines.

Methods: This study was conducted as part of the Chicago follow-up study designed as a naturalistic prospective longitudinal research study to investigate the course, outcome, symptomatology, and effects of antipsychotic medication on recovery and rehospitalization in participants with serious mental illness disorders. A total of 139 participants with 734 observations were included in the analysis. GEE logistic models were applied to adjust for confounding factors measured at index hospitalization and follow-ups.

Results: Our data show that the majority of participants with schizophrenia or affective psychosis experience future episodes of psychosis at some point during the 20-year follow-up. There was a significant diagnostic difference between groups showing an increase in the number of future episodes of psychosis in participants with schizophrenia. Participants with schizophrenia not on antipsychotics after the first 2 years have better outcomes than participants prescribed antipsychotics. The adjusted odds ratio of not on antipsychotic medication was 5.989 (95% CI 3.588–9.993) for recovery and 0.134 (95% CI 0.070–0.259) for rehospitalization. That is, regardless of diagnosis, after the second year, the absence of antipsychotics predicted a higher probability of recovery and lower probability of rehospitalization at subsequent follow-ups after adjusting for confounders.

Conclusion: This study reports multiple findings that bring into question the use of continuous antipsychotic medications, regardless of diagnosis. Even when the confound by indication for prescribing antipsychotic medication is controlled for, participants with schizophrenia and affective psychosis do better than their medicated cohorts, strongly confirming the importance of exposing the role of aiDSP and antipsychotic drug resistance.”

You can find out more from here.

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