Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology
School of Arts and Humanities
© Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved. Background Remission in schizophrenia is difficult to achieve. Antipsychotic drugs are critical in the treatment of schizophrenia. International guidelines for the pharmacological treatment of schizophrenia recommend a 3-step algorithm with clozapine being the third-line antipsychotic agent. This study investigated the 1-year outcome and the application of the guidelines for the pharmacological treatment of nonremitted first-episode schizophrenia (FES) patients during the first year of follow-up. Methods A sample of 78 FES patients from the Norwegian TIPS (Early Treatment and Intervention in Psychosis) 2 study was assessed at the end of the first year of follow-up. The symptom remission criteria were those defined by the Remission in Schizophrenia Working Group. The adherence to the pharmacological guidelines was assessed by reading the medical files and by a digital search of the words "clozapine,""klozapin,"and "Leponex"in the hospital electronic data system. Results The majority (n = 53, 67.9%) of the patients included were nonremitted at the 1-year follow-up. The majority of the nonremitted patients received either none (7.5%), one (56.6%), or 2 types (15.1%) of antipsychotic drugs during the first year of follow-up. Only 2 (3.8%) received treatment with clozapine, and 3 (5.7%) in total were offered it. Conclusions For our FES sample, there was a low 1-year remission rate and a poor adherence to the pharmacological guidelines. Higher adherence to treatment guidelines with a more intensified antipsychotic treatment, which in some cases will include clozapine, will enhance the quality of treatment and may enhance the rates of remission for schizophrenia.
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