The need for educating patients with schizophrenia about the adverse effects of medications.

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The need for educating patients with schizophrenia about the adverse effects of medications.

Australas Psychiatry. 2016 Feb 24;

Authors: Hashimoto Y, Tensho M

Abstract
OBJECTIVE: Medication non-adherence is observed in many patients with schizophrenia. We investigated the effects of educational intervention on patient awareness of the adverse effects of their medication for patients with schizophrenia.
METHODS: Inpatients with schizophrenia (N=87) in two Japanese hospitals were allocated to two groups, one that was aware of the adverse effects of medications and one that was unaware, according to their responses to the question 'In the past month, have you experienced any adverse effects from your medications?' Then, they were questioned about adverse effects.
RESULTS: Only 27.6% of patients recognized the adverse effects of their medications. After pharmacists educated them and showed them a list of adverse effects, the prevalence of recognition increased dramatically (≤96.6%). Most patients with schizophrenia clearly did not recognize the adverse effects of their medications. When patients experienced discomfort they tended to stop taking their medications.
CONCLUSIONS: Adverse effects are a common risk factor for discontinuation of medication, so early detection and reporting of such effects may result in them being addressed sooner. Considering the risks of relapse caused by discontinuation of medication, healthcare professionals should actively educate patients with schizophrenia about dysphoria and manage adverse effects.

PMID: 26912469 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]