Is using an algorithm for the treatment of schizophrenia effective?

Updated: Mar 16, 2018
  • Author: Frances R Frankenburg, MD; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Answer

Few studies have examined the outcome of treatment using these algorithms. In a study from Canada, Agid et al described the outcome of treatment among 244 patients with first-episode schizophrenia who were treated according to a 2003 algorithm. [93] If no response to the first antipsychotic was observed, a second antipsychotic was used. Most patients were treated with olanzapine or risperidone.

Response rates fell from about 75% in the first trial to less than 20% in the second trial. [93] The patients who did not respond to either trial were offered clozapine, and 75% responded. Unanswered questions from this study include the respective roles of first-generation and second-generation antipsychotic medications and when clozapine should be used.


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