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Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2011 Jun;13(3):225-33. doi: 10.1007/s11920-011-0189-z.

A tipping point in drug dosing in late-life schizophrenia.

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Department of Neuropsychiatry, Keio University School of Medicine, 35 Shinanomachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan.


Minimally effective doses of antipsychotics are likely influenced by several clinical and demographic characteristics of patients, with age being one of the most important elements. In light of age-related physiologic changes as well as interindividual differences in pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic systems, individualized dosing with regard to age will be critically important for safer drug treatment for older patients with schizophrenia. In the present review, we propose the following cautious psychopharmacologic interventions for this population: 1) simple regimen (avoid polypharmacy), 2) be aware of the presence of patients who are very sensitive to drugs, 3) gradual dose titration, and 4) timely and thorough assessments of therapeutic and side effects. The age-related antipsychotic sensitivity highlights the importance of finding the lowest possible effective dose of antipsychotic drugs as patients with schizophrenia age to maximize therapeutic effects and minimize side effects.

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