A recent research
conducted by Stefan et al and published in The Lancet, systematically reviewed
the efficacy of antipsychotic drugs in preventing relapses in patients with
schizophrenia, when compared to placebo. The review included 116 reports from
about 65 clinical trials published over the past 50 years. Only those trials
were taken into account where schizophrenic patients became stabilized after
Reports from the
Cochrane Schizophrenia Group's specialized register, Embase, PubMed and
ClinicalTrials.gov were analyzed.
observed that there was a marked decrease in relapse rates at one year in
patients treated with antipsychotic drugs. The number of patients requiring
re-admission with antipsychotic drugs was quite less than those with placebo.
The injectable antipsychotic drugs reduced the relapsing
of schizophrenia more than the oral drugs.
Some adverse effects
reported include, movement disorders increased sedation and weight gain in
patients on antipsychotic drugs.
The researchers finally
stated that the benefits of antipsychotic drugs should be contrasted against
the adverse effects produced by them. They further added that more researches
are required to elucidate the long-term mortality and morbidity of
Antipsychotic drugs versus placebo for relapse
prevention in schizophrenia: a systematic review and meta-analysis; Stefan et
al; The Lancet Online Publication 2012