Should people with schizophrenia be offered depot antipsychotics as first line treatment?

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Murtada Alsaif reports on a new nationwide Swedish cohort study that explores the real-world effectiveness of oral and depot antipsychotics for people with schizophrenia.

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Risperidone versus placebo for people with schizophrenia

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Joanne Wallace summarises the recent Cochrane systematic review on risperidone versus placebo for schizophrenia, which concludes that the best available evidence does not show that the benefits of risperidone outweigh the harms.

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Trends in antipsychotic prescribing in autism

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Angela Hassiotis and James Dove summarise a recent meta-analysis of antipsychotic prescribing and use trends in US youth with autism spectrum disorder and/or learning disabilities.

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Aripiprazole for treatment-resistant depression in older adults

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Sarsha Wilson publishes her debut blog about a recent RCT on the efficacy, safety and tolerability of augmentation pharmacotherapy with aripiprazole for treatment-resistant depression in later life.

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Switching antipsychotics in schizophrenia: the OPTiMiSE RCT

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Tracey Roberts summarises a recent paper that reviews the existing literature concerned with switching antipsychotics in patients with schizophrenia, and goes on to present the ongoing OPTiMiSE RCT in this field, which is due to be published in 2016.

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Quetiapine for schizophrenia: more transparency needed in clinical trial reporting

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Andrew Shepherd reports on a recent systematic review, meta-analysis and reappraisal of Quetiapine for schizophrenia, which concludes that Quetiapine IR has a small beneficial effect on psychotic symptoms, but also leads to weight gain and sedation.

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What should we prescribe for neuropsychiatric symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease?

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Psychiatrist Andrés Fonseca considers how his clinical practice should change, after reading a systematic review and meta-analysis of drug treatment for neuropsychiatric symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease

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Spoilt for choice? Four new Cochrane reviews on antipsychotics for schizophrenia

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Schizophrenia is a crippling condition characterised by psychotic experiences such as delusions and hallucinations. It can be hugely debilitating for the patient and their family and it can also be an enormous challenge for psychiatrists and other health and social care professionals who are responsible for providing care and support to the service user. Currently, [read the full story…]

Lithium is less expensive than olanzapine in treatment-resistant depression, but has unclear clinical benefits

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Treatment-resistant depression (TRD) still represents a challenge to psychiatric practice. Since patients have usually failed at least two antidepressants, drugs originally prescribed for other conditions are often tried as an augmentation (Souery er al., 2006). Amongst them, lithium (a mood-stabiliser used in the treatment of bipolar disorders) as well as atypical antipsychotics (AAPs, indicated for [read the full story…]

Atypical antipsychotics no better than typicals for adolescents with psychosis, but atypicals may have fewer short-term side effects

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Schizophrenia is a serious neurodevelopmental disorder that often starts during adolescence. Current treatment guidelines (NICE, 2013) recommend atypical antipsychotics for adolescents with this condition, but this is based largely on studies of adults with the condition. The Cochrane Schizophrenia Group conducted this systematic review to synthesise the current evidence base for atypical antipsychotic medication in [read the full story…]