(HealthDay News) – Patients in remission from first-episode psychosis have better long-term recovery after reduction or discontinuation of antipsychotics rather than maintenance treatment, according to a study published online July 3 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Lex Wunderink, MD, PhD, from Friesland Mental Health Services in Leeuwarden, Netherlands, and colleagues performed a seven-year follow-up of 103 patients with six months of remitted first-episode psychosis who had been randomly assigned to antipsychotic dose-reduction/discontinuation or maintenance treatment for 18 months.

The researchers found that patients in the dose-reduction/discontinuation group had a significantly higher recovery rate than the maintenance treatment group (40.4% vs. 17.6%; odds ratio 3.49). The better recovery rates were associated with higher functional remission rates but not symptomatic remission rates.

“Dose reduction/discontinuation of antipsychotics during the early stages of remitted first-episode psychosis shows superior long-term recovery rates compared with the rates achieved with maintenance treatment,” Wunderink and colleagues conclude.

The study was funded in part by an unconditional grant from Janssen-Cilag.

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