Optimal use of atypical antipsychotics in adolescents and adults with schizophrenia


This ‘optimal use’ project from the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health assesses the clinical and economic impact of using atypical antipsychotic combination therapy, as well as high-dosing treatment strategies, in adolescents and adults with schizophrenia.

The report was produced by an expert panel who based their recommendations on a systematic review and meta-analysis of the evidence, as well as a review of the current utilisation data.

The key messages from the report are that when a patient with schizophrenia is not adequately responsive to an antipsychotic agent:

  • Increasing the dose (within the recommended range), or switching to a different antipsychotic agent is recommended — switching to clozapine should be considered as an option
  • High-dose strategies or combining atypical antipsychotic drugs with other antipsychotic agents are not known to be more effective and may be more harmful than treatment with a recommended dose of one antipsychotic agent

Optimal use recommendations for atypical antipsychotics: combination and high-dose treatment strategies in adolescents and adults with schizophrenia (PDF). Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health, Dec 2011.

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Andre Tomlin

André Tomlin is an Information Scientist with 20 years experience working in evidence-based healthcare. He's worked in the NHS, for Oxford University and since 2002 as Managing Director of Minervation Ltd, a consultancy company who do clever digital stuff for charities, universities and the public sector. Most recently André has been the driving force behind the Mental Elf and the National Elf Service; an innovative digital platform that helps professionals keep up to date with simple, clear and engaging summaries of evidence-based research. André is a Trustee at the Centre for Mental Health and an Honorary Research Fellow at University College London Division of Psychiatry. He lives in Bristol, surrounded by dogs, elflings and lots of woodland!

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