First-Episode Schizophrenia Care Needs Improvement

Share this content:
First-Episode Schizophrenia Care Needs Improvement
First-Episode Schizophrenia Care Needs Improvement

THURSDAY, Dec. 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Improper drug treatment is given to nearly 40 percent of people who suffer their first episode of schizophrenia, according to a new study published online Dec. 4 in The American Journal of Psychiatry.

The study included 404 people who suffered a first episode of schizophrenia. They were seen at community treatment centers in 21 states. Of those patients, 159 received drug treatment that was inconsistent with recommendations for first-episode patients.

Some of the more common mistakes the researchers cited included: (1) prescribing more than one antipsychotic medication; (2) a higher-than-recommended dose of an antipsychotic; (3) the use of psychotropic medication other than an antipsychotic; (4) prescribing an antidepressant without justification; and (5) the use of the antipsychotic olanzapine, which is especially likely to cause major weight gain but was often prescribed at high doses.

"Academic research has found that optimal medication selection and dosing for first-episode patients differs from that for patients with longer illness durations. The challenge to the field is to get this specialized knowledge to busy clinicians who are treating patients," study author Delbert Robinson, M.D., a psychiatrist at the Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y., said in a journal news release. "Our finding that treatment differed based upon patients' insurance status suggests that in order to improve first-episode care we may also need to address treatment system issues."

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Share this content:

is free, fast, and customized just for you!

Already a member?

Sign In Now »

Drug Lookup

Browse drugs by: BrandGenericDisease

Trending Activities

All Professions



Sign up for myCME e-newsletters


More in Home

Pharmacists Should Counsel Patients Fasting for Ramadan

Pharmacists Should Counsel Patients Fasting for Ramadan

Pharmacists can suggest adjustments for meds taken several times per day, those affected by food intake

AUA: Many Have Unused Opioids After Urologic Procedures

AUA: Many Have Unused Opioids After Urologic Procedures

Patients use just over half of initial prescription; highest percentage of unused meds for cystectomy

Over Half of Young Adult Smoke Volume Exposure From Hookahs

Over Half of Young Adult Smoke Volume Exposure ...

Toxicant exposure to tar, carbon monoxide, nicotine lower, but still substantial, compared to cigarettes

is free, fast, and customized just for you!

Already a member?

Sign In Now »