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Br J Psychiatry Suppl. 1999;(37):26-9.

Olanzapine in the long-term treatment of schizophrenia.

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Department of Psychiatry, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Glen Oaks, NY 11004, USA.


The primary aim of the long-term treatment of patients with schizophrenia is to prevent relapse, which is costly both in psychological and economic terms. Although with conventional antipsychotic drugs relapse may occur despite compliance with maintenance regimens, the rate of relapse is reduced in compliant patients. However, this benefit is achieved at the cost of side-effects and the risk of developing tardive dyskinesia, even among patients who have taken these drugs for only a year or two. To provide the therapeutic benefits of maintenance medication without its drawbacks, intermittent dosing and long-term therapy with reduced doses of conventional medications have been explored. The atypical antipsychotic agent, olanzapine, has been shown to be effective maintenance medication and has an improved safety profile.

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