Benefits of Atypical Antipsychotics Tied to Schizophrenia Severity

Atypical antipsychotic drugs benefit patients with acute schizophrenia across the full spectrum of symptom severity, as well as highly symptomatic patients with predominantly negative symptoms, suggests a meta-analysis published in JAMA Psychiatry.

However, there was a significant correlation between increasing baseline symptom severity and the level of benefit patients derived from treatment, report Toshi Furukawa, from Kyoto University in Japan, and co-authors.

Noting that all patients are at risk of experiencing a full range of side effects, they therefore recommend: “Toward the mildest end of the spectrum, judicious clinical consideration of trade-offs between benefits and risks of the antipsychotic treatment is required.”

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