Monday, September 19, 2005

Very disappointing news on schizophrenia

Study Finds Little Advantage in New Schizophrenia Drugs - New York Times

The article might have been titled - no great meds for schizophrenia:
The study, which looked at four new-generation drugs, called atypical antipsychotics, and one older drug, found that all five blunted the symptoms of schizophrenia, a disabling disorder that affects three million Americans. But almost three-quarters of the patients who participated stopped taking the drugs they were on because of discomfort or specific side effects.
I suspect the 75% discontinuation rate is similar in older meds.

I'm disappointed. I was still seeing patients when the first of these meds came out, and I was very pleased with the benefits some of my schizophrenic patients seemed to receive.

We desperately need more basic science and clinical research in the treatment and management of schizophrenia -- one of the most terrible of all diseases.

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