(HealthDay News) — Clozapine reduces symptoms in patients with schizophrenia who don’t benefit from other antipsychotic medications, according to research published online November 6 in The American Journal of Psychiatry.
The findings were culled from an analysis of Medicaid data on 6,246 patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia. The researchers assessed outcomes of a cohort of patients with schizophrenia and evidence of treatment resistance that initiated clozapine (3,123 patients) and in a propensity score-matched cohort that initiated a standard antipsychotic (3,123 patients).
The researchers found that those on clozapine had fewer hospitalizations, stayed on their new medication longer, and were less likely to need to use additional antipsychotics.
“These results give clinicians important guidance for how to help an extremely vulnerable group of people,” study author T. Scott Stroup, MD, MPH, a professor of psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York City and a research psychiatrist at New York State Psychiatric Institute, said in a Columbia news release. “By helping individuals with treatment-resistant schizophrenia get effective treatment sooner, we can expect better outcomes.”