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Schizophrenics Fully Remitted on Neuroleptics for 3–5 years—To Stop or Continue Drugs?

  • Hung K. Cheung (a1)

Summary

A double-blind comparison between benzodiazepines and neuroleptics was carried out for 1 ½ years on 30 schizophrenics who had hitherto continuously received neuroleptics and remained apparently in full remission for at least 3–5 years. The benzodiazepine-group had a significantly higher relapse rate than the neuroleptic-group, meaning that we cannot stop neuroleptics for these patients yet. Three possible reasons for this are (1) demand of the natural course of the illness, (2) the fact that the patients agreed to stay in therapy for so long may signify a need for therapy, (3) some of the relapses on stopping neuroleptics may be ‘withdrawal psychosis' after prolonged neuroleptic therapy. If withdrawal of neuroleptics is really needed, however, it may be considered for a subgroup of female patients whose illness started after the age of 40.

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Schizophrenics Fully Remitted on Neuroleptics for 3–5 years—To Stop or Continue Drugs?

  • Hung K. Cheung (a1)
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