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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