Latest Schizophrenia Drug Studies: One Size Does Not Fit All; Community Services also Needed
Ken Duckworth, M.D, Medical Director
on Mental Illness (NAMI) Alliance
March 1, 2007
Arlington, VA -- The American Journal of Psychiatry today published two studies representing the most recent installment of the "Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness" (CATIE) funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in the treatment of schizophrenia.
Ken Duckworth, M.D., medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) issued the following statement
"The latest findings provide two important guideposts for doctors and consumers.
First, choices exist among medications for schizophrenia. One size does not fit all.
Second, medication alone is not enough to overcome the illness. Medications reduce symptoms, but no difference exists between medications in moving beyond modest improvement to restoration of interpersonal and
Like earlier CATIE findings, the latest results show that older generation antipsychotic medications remain as effective as newer drugs. More significantly, they show that when an older medication is effective, some of the newer medications help sooner than others. This may seem obvious, but the independent, comparative evidence is important in making real world choices.
No matter what medication is prescribed, intensive rehabilitation and
Individuals and families living with schizophrenia have known these facts for years. We know that counseling and job services are underplayed and underpaid by insurance and public investments. With CATIE, the scientific
The latest research installment therefore also provides guidance -- and warnings -- to policymakers, including legislators.
Choosing medications is a medical decision that must be made on an individual basis. Access to both older and newer generation medications must be preserved in Medicaid and managed care plans, to ensure maximum choice for maximum effectiveness.
We need to provide, and fully fund,
Finally, we need better options.
Scientific research is part of the equation.
CATIE compares one generation of drugs to a second generation.
What is needed is a third generation that can take us even farther toward effective treatment and recovery.
NIMH also needs to
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American Journal of Psychiatry articles: http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/