Perceptions of Psychiatrists Toward the Use of Long-Acting Injectable Antipsychotics: An Online Survey Study From India.J Clin Psychopharmacol 2019 Nov/Dec; 39(6):611-619JC
Despite proven benefits of long-acting injectables (LAIs), these are frequently underused by the psychiatrists. Accordingly, this study aimed to explore the perceptions of psychiatrists toward the use of LAI antipsychotics in their routine clinical practice.
An online e-mail survey was conducted by using Survey Monkey platform.
A total of 622 psychiatrists with a mean age of 41 years who were in psychiatric practice for approximately 14 years participated in the survey. Participants reported using LAI, mainly for patients with schizophrenia, with LAI prescribed to approximately one-tenth (9.30%) of their patients in acute phase of illness and in one-fifth (18.42%) of patients in stabilization/stable phase. Fluphenazine decanoate (32.7%) was the most commonly used LAI followed by flupenthixol decanoate (19.5%), haloperidol decanoate (17.8%), and olanzapine pamoate (11.1%). The most common reasons for starting LAI were history of medication (100%) and treatment (80.5%) nonadherence, followed by having frequent relapses/exacerbations of symptoms (54.8%). Overall, more than half of the participants felt the level of acceptance of LAI among patients offered to be quite reasonable (54.3%), and mostly, LAIs were used as combination therapy with oral antipsychotics (73.6%). Despite all these, approximately three-fifths (59%) of the participants reported that they underuse LAI to a certain extent, with most common reasons that deter them from using LAI being the cost (55.45%), lack of interest of patients in receiving LAI (42.9%), lack of regular availability (41.3%), and patients being scared of receiving injectables (41.2%).
The LAI antipsychotics despite having several benefits are still underused by a substantial proportion of practicing psychiatrists.