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Pharmacotherapy of first-episode schizophrenia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 August 2018

Gary Remington
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Canada
Shitij Kapur
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Canada
Robert B. Zipursky
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Canada

Abstract

Background A growing interest in first-episode schizophrenia reflects the belief that this line of investigation will lead to further developments regarding schizophrenia's aetiology, course and outcome.

Method Evidence from more recent clinical trials involving first-episode schizophrenia is integrated with neuroimaging data, specifically positron emission tomography, to provide direction regarding pharmacotherapy.

Results Individuals with a first episode of schizophrenia appear particularly responsive to pharmacotherapy, as well as quite sensitive to side-effects. At the same time, current clinical and receptor-binding data support the efficacy of low-dose neuroleptic treatment.

Conclusions Early and effective treatment of schizophrenia has been associated with better long-term outcome. Low-dose neuroleptic therapy is an effective treatment strategy and the diminished risk of side-effects with this approach may further enhance compliance and outcome.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © 1998 The Royal College of Psychiatrists 

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