Simplifying psychotropic medication regimen into a single night dosage and reducing the dose for patients with chronic schizophrenia

Takefumi Suzuki, Hiroyuki Uchida, Hiroyoshi Takeuchi, Kensuke Nomura, Akira Tanabe, Koichiro Watanabe, Gohei Yagi, Haruo Kashima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Rationale: Taking psychotropic medications is frequently problematic from both consumers' and caregivers' perspective. Occasionally missed doses may lead to pervasive non-adherence with relapse a likely outcome. Objective: To evaluate the simple medication regimen, all psychotropics were given at night for patients with chronic schizophrenia, who had been taking them at least twice a day for more than 12 weeks before the entry. Methods: Switching of agents took place in two ways: converting only antipsychotic medications followed by other psychotropics, and changing all psychotropics simultaneously. Any psychotropics of little clinical significance were then cautiously minimized. Final evaluation was made 12 weeks after the competed dose consolidation. Patients finally rated their subjective impression on this intervention. Results: Twenty-five patients were recruited in each treatment arm (50 in total). After switching, 11 got better, 29 remained stable whereas seven got worse, according to the Global Improvement. Three were not assessable. Overall, there were no relevant changes in clinical ratings including adverse effects. However, the chlorpromazine equivalent dose of antipsychotics and the number of total psychotropics were significantly reduced from 957 to 722 mg/day (p<0.0001) and from 4.0 to 3.2 (p<0.0001), respectively. Dose deflation of psychotropics was feasible in 35 subjects (74.5%). Twenty-six (of 40 successful) patients indicated that they favored the night-time regimen mainly because it was less complicated. Sedation in the morning was identified as an important adverse event, which should be addressed by reducing the dose. Conclusions: The procedure may be of value to counteract a recent trend of psychotropic polypharmacy in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)566-575
Number of pages10
JournalPsychopharmacology
Volume181
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Sep 1

Keywords

  • Antipsychotics
  • Biological half-life
  • Dose reduction
  • Polypharmacy
  • Psychotropics
  • Schizophrenia
  • Single dosing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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