People diagnosed with schizophrenia who are not on antipsychotics are more likely to experience recovery than those taking the medication, according to an American study.
Over 15 years, schizophrenia patients not on antipsychotics showed more periods of recovery than those taking antipsychotics, states a research paper in last month’s Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.
Researchers reported that, after 10 years, 79% of patients on antipsychotics were psychotic, whereas 23% of those not on medication were psychotic. After 15 years, 65 per cent of patients on antipsychotics were psychotic, whereas only 28% of those not on medication were psychotic.
The study’s authors – Martin Harrow and Thomas Jobe of the department of psychiatry at the University of Illinois in Chicago – concluded that “not all schizophrenia patients need to use antipsychotic medications continuously throughout their lives.”
They stated that certain patient characteristics – such as a “favorable personality” – helped those not on medication to experience recovery.
The study was on 145 patients – 64 diagnosed with schizophrenia, and a control of 81 patients who had another psychotic diagnosis, such as paranoid disorder.
The research was part-funded by America’s National Institute of Mental Health.