The Potential Role of Long-acting Injectable Antipsychotics in People with Schizophrenia and Comorbid Substance Use.
OBJECTIVE: Treatment of schizophrenia in patients with comorbid substance use (alcohol/illicit drug use, abuse or dependence) presents
challenges for public health systems. Substance use in people with schizophrenia is up to four times greater than the general
population and is associated with medication nonadherence and poor outcomes. Therefore, continuous antipsychotic treatment
in this population may pose more of a challenge than for those with schizophrenia alone. Many clinical trials and treatment
recommendations in schizophrenia do not take into consideration substance use as people with comorbid substance use have typically
been excluded from most antipsychotic trials. Nonetheless, antipsychotic treatment appears to be as efficacious in this population,
although treatment discontinuation remains high. The objective of this review was to highlight the importance and utility
of considering long-acting injectable antipsychotics for patients with schizophrenia and comorbid substance use.
METHODS: We did a literature search using PubMed with key words schizophrenia and substance use/abuse/dependence, nonadherence, antipsychotics, long acting injectables, relapse, and psychosocial interventions. We limited our search to human studies published in English and 4,971 articles were identified. We focused on clinical trials, case reports, case series, reviews and meta-analyses resulting in 125 articles from 1975-2011.
RESULTS: Our review suggests the potential role of long-acting injectables for people with comorbid substance use and schizophrenia in leading to improvements in psychopathology, relapse prevention, fewer rehospitalizations, and better outcomes.
CONCLUSIONS: While more research is needed, long-acting antipsychotics should be considered an important option in the management of people with schizophrenia and comorbid substance use.
Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21228, USA.
SourceJournal of dual diagnosis 8:1 2012 pg 50-61
Pub Type(s)JOURNAL ARTICLE