Jan 1, 1976

Maintenance antipsychotic therapy: is the cure worse than the disease?

The American Journal of Psychiatry
G Gardos, J O Cole


The serious long-term complications of maintenance antipsychotic therapy led the authors to undertake a critical review of outpatient withdrawal studies. Key findings included the following: 1) for a least 40% of outpatient schizophrenics, drugs seem to be essential for survival in the community; 2) the majority of patients who relapse after drug withdrawal recompensate fairly rapidly upon reinstitution of antipsychotic drug therapy; 3) placebo survivors seem to function as well as drug survivors--thus the benefit of maintenance drug therapy appears to be prevention of relapse; and 4) some cases of early relapse after drug withdrawal may be due to dyskinesia rather than psychotic decompensation. The authors urge clinicians to evaluate each patient on maintenance antipsychotic therapy in terms of feasibility of drug withdrawal and offer practical guidelines for withdrawal and subsequent management.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Antipsychotic Effect
Dyskinetic Syndrome
Lenticulostriate Disorders
Antipsychotic Agents
Etat Marbre
Clinical Trials

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