Efficacy of high vs. low-potency first-generation antipsychotics for schizophrenia

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Laurence Palfreyman summarises 3 recent Cochrane reviews, which investigate high-potency versus low-potency first-generation antipsychotic drugs for schizophrenia. The reviews find little difference in efficacy between the high-potency antipsychotics Trifluoperazine, Haloperidol, Fluphenazine, and low-potency typical antipsychotics.

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Second National Audit of Schizophrenia highlights lack of progress for service users and carers

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André Tomlin summarises the second National Audit of Schizophrenia, which highlights that many people with schizophrenia are still not getting the high quality psychological and medical treatment they deserve.

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Eating disorders: mapping the (lack of) evidence

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Helen Bould summarises a recent review that maps the evidence for the prevention and treatment of eating disorders in young people. Her conclusion? A call to arms for more better quality research to help people affected by these serious illnesses.

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The adverse effects of psychiatric drugs and emergency department visits

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A new study finds that psychiatric medications are implicated in many adverse drug events treated in US emergency departments. Nearly 1 in 10 of all adverse drug event visits to emergency departments are due to psychiatric drugs, including antidepressants, antipsychotics, lithium salts, sedatives, anxiolytics and stimulants.

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Shared decision making in antipsychotic prescribing: the perspective of psychiatrists

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Shared decision making is now commonplace, but will this approach ever be fully embraced in relation to antipsychotic prescribing? Liz Hughes reports on a recent qualitative study of consultant psychiatrists’ experiences that sheds some light on the issue.

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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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Antipsychotics and mood stabilisers may reduce violent crime

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John Baker reports on the first population based report of the positive effects of antipsychotic medication and mood stabilisers on reducing the risk of a conviction for violent crime, published in the Lancet in May.

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Paliperidone Palmitate is no better than Haloperidol Decanoate at preventing relapse or controlling psychotic symptoms

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Alex Langford summarises a relatively large and pragmatic study, which provides firm evidence that the newer antipsychotic, Paliperidone, is no better at preventing relapse or controlling psychotic symptoms than its decades-old comparator, Haloperidol.

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Which (if any) drugs should we use for agitated or aggressive behaviour in dementia?

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This is a dilemma I frequently face when I am called out to see someone with dementia on the ward or living in a nursing home. On the one hand I am thinking that anything I use can potentially have serious side-effects and will probably lead to increased health risks and increased mortality. On the [read the full story...]

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...]