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Schizophrenia Research and Treatment
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 560836, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/560836
Review Article

Long-Acting Injectable Antipsychotics for First-Episode Schizophrenia: The Pros and Cons

1Department of Psychiatry, CHA Bundang Medical Center, CHA University, 59 Yatap-ro, Bundang-gu, Seongnam-si 463-712, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea
2Department of Psychiatry, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, 138 Sheng Li Road, Tainan 70428, Taiwan
3Department of Psychiatry, Chonbuk National University Medical School, 567 Baekje-daero, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju-si 561-756, Jeollabuk-do, Republic of Korea
4Research Institute of Clinical Medicine of Chonbuk National University, Biomedical Research Institute of Chonbuk National University Hospital, 20 Geonjiro, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju-si 561-712, Jeollabuk-do, Republic of Korea

Received 13 May 2012; Accepted 22 May 2012

Academic Editor: Eduard Parellada

Copyright © 2012 Borah Kim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Clinical and psychosocial deterioration associated with schizophrenia occurs within the first few years following the onset of the illness. Therefore, to improve the long-term prognosis, it is important to provide schizophrenia patients with intensive treatment following their first episode. Relapse is highly associated with partial medication adherence or nonadherence in patients with first-episode schizophrenia. Recent studies suggest that long-acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotics compared with oral antipsychotics are more effective for medication adherence and relapse prevention. Moreover, some clinical guidelines for the treatment of schizophrenia suggested that LAI antipsychotics should be considered when patients are nonadherent “at any stage.” Decreased compliance is a common cause of relapse during the initial stages of the disease. Therefore, LAI antipsychotics should be highly considered when treating patients with first-episode schizophrenia. In the present paper, clinical trial data and current guidelines on the use of LAI antipsychotics for first-episode schizophrenia are discussed as well as the pros and cons of this treatment option.