Objective: Antipsychotic monotherapy is considered as the reference standard in the pharmacological treatment of schizophrenia. Nonetheless, there is a large rate of studies showing polypharmacy with antipsychotics as more frequent than would be expected attending experts' recommendations. The objective of this study is to describe polypharmacy with antipsychotic regimen in patients with schizophrenia discharged with amisulpride from the short-term hospitalization unit.
Methods: We have analyzed the prescription of psychotropic drugs upon discharge of 52 patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder who were discharged with amisulpride from January to December 2005. Variables were included to describe the following treatments: antipsychotic (drug and dose), benzodiazepine, and anticholinergic drugs. Sociodemographic and clinical variables were also collected.
Results: In the group treated with 2 antipsychotics, the most frequently used common combination was with a classic antipsychotic in depot formulation. Patients (17.5%) were prescribed to another 2 antipsychotics in addition to amisulpride, being the most common combination with a second generation antipsychotic, and a classic or depot antipsychotic.
Conclusions: The results of our study show that the use of amisulpride as an adjuvant can be a suitable therapeutic strategy for patients with schizophrenia resistant to treatment and for the rapid control of symptoms in schizophrenic patients with acute episodes. However, its clinical use does not have to be reserved exclusively for patients with resistant schizophrenia to clozapine.
*Acute Inpatients Unit, Doctor R. Lafora Psychiatric Hospital; and †Neuropsychopharmacology Unit, Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Alcalá, Madrid, Spain.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Juan D. Molina, MD, PhD, Acute Inpatient Unit, Doctor R. Lafora Psychiatric Hospital, Carretera de Colmenar Viejo, Km. 13,800, Madrid 28049, Spain; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org