Lowering Antipsychotic Dose Safe For Older Schizophrenia Patients

Patients with late life schizophrenia who had their antipsychotic dose reduced had fewer side effects without sacrificing medication efficacy.

Physicians can safely reduce the dose of antipsychotics in patients with late-life schizophrenia, diminishing the potential adverse effects of these medications, researchers found.

In a single-center trial of 35 schizophrenia patients, 80% achieved dose reductions without signs of clinical deterioration, Ariel Graff-Guerrero, MD, PhD, of the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, and colleagues reported online in JAMA Psychiatry.

Their findings also suggested a lower therapeutic window for dopamine receptor occupancy than seen in younger schizophrenia patients, they said. While those patients achieve optimal therapy around 65% occupancy, late-life patients may do better at 50% and up.

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