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.
The researchers 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.
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.
Antipsychotic drugs versus placebo for relapse prevention in schizophrenia: a systematic review and meta-analysis; Stefan et al; The Lancet Online Publication 2012