Early relapse is frequent in the first-episode psychosis (FEP), often because of poor adherence to medication. Previous studies have shown positive impacts of long-acting injectable antipsychotics (LAI-AP) on relapse rates, while others have discerned no differences. This study describes the impact of early LAI-AP utilization on relapse and rehospitalization rates in FEP. A three-year, longitudinal, prospective, naturalistic study of all admissions of psychosis patients for early intervention services was conducted. Four hundred sixteen patients were subdivided into four groups according to the route of antipsychotic administration. Patients who received LAI-AP as their first treatment modality were more likely to exhibit poor prognostic factors at baseline. However, their relapse rate over time was similar to those with good prognostic factors at baseline who only received oral antipsychotics (OAP). Patients who were initially prescribed OAP and eventually switched to LAI-AP were more likely to relapse and to be rehospitalized, even if they manifested better functioning at baseline than those started on LAI-AP. Patients with poor prognosis in the early stage of their disease seem to benefit from early prescription of LAI-AP which can reduce and delay relapses and rehospitalizations. Because they are often still at school or at work at the time of their first episode of psychosis, relapse prevention seems particularly relevant to avoid functional deterioration.
- first-episode psychosis
- long-acting injectable antipsychotic
- naturalistic observational study
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Pharmacology (medical)