Background: Although long-acting injectable antipsychotics (LAI-APs) have been considered as a monotherapeutic option in the maintenance treatment of schizophrenia, it has been recently reported that the combination therapy of LAI-APs and oral antipsychotics (OAPs) is common. Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review to examine the situation of the combination therapy of LAI second-generation antipsychotics (LAI-SGAs) and OAPs, and a questionnaire survey to investigate prescribers' attitudes toward the combination therapy. We included patients who received any LAI-SGAs for 1 month or longer and classified them into monotherapy and combination therapy groups. We collected information on age, sex, primary psychiatric diagnosis, and concomitant psychotropic medications. Results: Of the 132 patients, 39 (29.5%) received the combination therapy of LAI-SGAs and OAPs. Long-acting injectable risperidone was significantly associated with receiving the combination therapy compared with LAI aripiprazole. Olanzapine was the most common OAP in combination with LAI-SGAs. Only 8 patients (20.5%) concurrently received the same type of OAPs as LAI-SGAs. More than 60% of the patients received OAP polypharmacy before the initiation of LAI-SGAs. The psychiatrists in charge prescribed LAI-SGAs mainly because of a concern about adherence, and OAPs mainly because of insufficient dose of LAI-SGAs, to patients in the combination therapy group. They estimated that adherence to OAPs in two thirds of the patients in the combination therapy group was 80% or higher. Conclusions: The present study showed that the combination therapy of LAI-SGAs and OAPs is often conducted in real-world clinical practice. Considering the reason for the introduction of LAI-APs, clinicians should carefully monitor patients' adherence to OAPs concurrently used with LAI-APs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas