Psychosocial treatment combined with a low does of antipsychotic drugs is most effective in treating schizophrenia, according to a study led by researchers at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. Scientists followed 404 patients with first-episode psychosis at 34 community care clinics. Half received the traditional treatment of antipsychotic drugs and half received doses of the drugs that were up to 50 percent lower, along with a psychosocial intervention that included assistance with school discussions with family members and psychotherapy to help manage symptoms. After 2 years, participants in groups that took less medication and had the psychosocial intervention had greater improvement in quality of life and psychopathology and greater involvement in work and school compared with participants in traditional community care (The American Journal of Psychiatry, Online Oct. 20).
Despite known risks of serious side effects, antipsychotic use among older adults increases with age, finds research led by a Columbia University psychiatrist. Investigators looked at antipsychotic prescriptions filled from 2006 to 2010. They found that the percentage of adults with an antipsychotic prescription was approximately twice as high among people ages 80 to 84 as among those ages 65 to 69. They also found that in 2010, more than three-quarters of older adults who received an antipsychotic prescription had no documented psychiatric diagnosis during the year (Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, October).
Please make sure those in your family using antipsychotic drugs have a psychiatric diagnosis and are receiving psychosocial intervention in conjunction with the meds. These drugs should not be abused. The side effects are very serious.
Susie Bean Gives Team