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Psychiatr Serv. 2007 Apr;58(4):482-8.

Characteristics and use patterns of patients taking first-generation depot antipsychotics or oral antipsychotics for schizophrenia.

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  • 1Department of Health Systems Management, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, 1440 Canal St., Suite 1900, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA. lshi1@tulane.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Investigators compared patient characteristics and antipsychotic use patterns between individuals with schizophrenia treated in usual care with first-generation depot antipsychotics and those treated with oral antipsychotics (first- or second-generation or both).

METHODS:

Analyses used data from the U.S. Schizophrenia Care and Assessment Program, a large, prospective study of treatment for schizophrenia conducted July 1997 through September 2003. Participants were assessed at enrollment and every six months thereafter with patient self-report, validated psychiatric measures, and systematic extraction of medical records. Individuals treated with a first-generation depot antipsychotic at any time during the three-year study (N=569) were compared with those treated with only oral antipsychotics (N=1,617) on characteristics at enrollment and medication use pattern during the year after enrollment.

RESULTS:

Compared with patients receiving only oral antipsychotics, participants treated with depot medications (haloperidol or fluphenazine decanoate) were more likely to be African American (p<.001); less likely to be a veteran (p=.005); had more psychiatric hospitalizations in the year before enrollment (p<.001); and were more likely to have been arrested (p<.001), to use alcohol and illicit substances (p<.001), and to show higher psychopathology, particularly psychotic symptoms and disorganized thinking (p<.01 for both). In the year after enrollment, participants treated with depot medications had a high mean medication possession ratio (91%), and most of the medication regimens (68%) were augmented with oral antipsychotics for prolonged durations (median of 144 days).

CONCLUSIONS:

Patients with schizophrenia treated with first-generation depot antipsychotics differed from those treated with only oral antipsychotics. Findings suggest that first-generation depot antipsychotics might address some unmet needs of a unique subgroup of patients with schizophrenia.

PMID:
17412849
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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