Relapse rates following antipsychotic discontinuation in the maintenance phase after first-episode of schizophrenia: Results of a long-term follow-up study.

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Relapse rates following antipsychotic discontinuation in the maintenance phase after first-episode of schizophrenia: Results of a long-term follow-up study.

Schizophr Res. 2019 Oct 22;:

Authors: Üçok A, Kara İA

Abstract
BACKGROUND: When the antipsychotic treatment should be discontinued after first-episode of schizophrenia (FES) in patients who had a good response to initial treatment is still controversial. The aim of this naturalistic follow-up study was to determine the rate of antipsychotic discontinuation in the maintenance phase and its consequences, after FES.
METHODS: FES patients (n = 105) were followed-up for at least 24 months and up to 22 years (mean = 99.1 months). After minimum one-year antipsychotic treatment without relapse, some patients' antipsychotics were discontinued by psychiatrist. We compared the clinical characteristics of this group to those who stopped their medication themselves and analyzed the predictors of being relapse-free after discontinuation.
RESULTS: Seventeen (16.2%) of the patients' antipsychotic was discontinued by their psychiatrist. Using the same antipsychotic during the first year was the predictor of discontinuation by the psychiatrist in logistic regression analysis. Ten (58.8%) of them relapsed. Thirty-nine patients (37.1%) discontinued their antipsychotic themselves, relapse rate was 76.9% (n = 30). There was no clinical difference between these two groups. Overall, the patients who had no relapse after discontinuation had better role and global functioning at baseline, were more likely to meet remission criteria, and their antipsychotic was discontinued by psychiatrist and use same antipsychotic during the first year.
CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that antipsychotic discontinuation by psychiatrist was possible for only small portion of the FES patients, and relapse rates are high after discontinuation even in these selected patients.

PMID: 31653578 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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