Antipsychotics for acute treatment of first episode schizophrenia

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Elwira Lubos writes her debut blog on a recent systematic review with pairwise and network meta-analyses, looking at antipsychotic drugs for the acute treatment of patients with first episode schizophrenia.

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Antipsychotic efficacy measured by real-world observational study

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Tracey Roberts examines whether a retrospective observational study accurately investigates the effectiveness of second and first generation antipsychotics.

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Schizophrenia, antipsychotics and quality of life: measuring the important things

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Samei Huda mulls over a recent RCT on the effects of older and newer antipsychotics on quality of life in schizophrenia. The study finds a different result to the 10-year old CUTLASS trial; namely that second generation antipsychotics may be superior to first generation antipsychotics in terms of improving quality of life for people with schizophrenia.

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Lithium for bipolar disorder: the best maintenance mood stabiliser protection against self-harm and suicide?

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Michael Ostacher provides a robust appraisal of a recent UK cohort study that suggests bipolar disorder patients taking lithium had reduced self-harm and unintentional injury rates, when compared with patients taking valproate, olanzapine or quetiapine.

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Lamotrigine, quetiapine and folic acid for bipolar depression: the CEQUEL trial

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Michael Ostacher considers the findings of the CEQUEL trial, which asks: Does lamotrigine treat bipolar depression when added to quetiapine, and does adding folic acid help any more?

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Biological pathways, antipsychotics and schizophrenia

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Murtada Alsaif summarises a small cohort study that uses shotgun mass spectrometry proteomic profiling to unravel the molecular pathways involved with antipsychotic response in people with schizophrenia.

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The antipsychotic drugs don’t work for anorexia nervosa

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Helen Bould appraises a recent meta-analysis of second-generation antipsychotics for anorexia nervosa, which finds that the drugs don’t lead to weight gain or improve eating disorder symptoms. So why are antipsychotics being used in this group of patients?

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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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Are treatments for bipolar disorder cost-effective?

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Chris Sampson reports on a recent systematic review and critical appraisal of economic evaluations in bipolar disorder. He finds that there’s a pressing need for new studies, especially discrete event simulations.

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Cochrane review finds quetiapine is equivalent in efficacy to typical antipsychotics and possibly causes fewer side effects

Antipsychotic medication is the standard treatment for schizophrenia and psychosis in the UK.  Given that psychosis is commonly a chronic condition and therefore that medication used to treat it often needs to be taken for several years, getting the medication “right” is important. As I mentioned in my first blog post for the Mental Elf, [read the full story…]