Commentary on strategies for switching antipsychotics

BMC Med. 2008 Jun 30;6:18. doi: 10.1186/1741-7015-6-18.

Abstract

Both the new generation of antipsychotics and the more traditional antipsychotic drugs produce an important and meaningful improvement in patients with schizophrenia, but most patients are neither cured nor free of symptoms. As a consequence, it is common to switch from one drug to another in the hope of obtaining a better response. All antipsychotic drugs produce some side effects, so switching can also be a tolerance issue. There are reports in the literature on the tactics of switching: abrupt discontinuation, cross tapering, starting a patient on a new drug while continuing with the old drug until the new drug has reached a steady state, or some variation on these tactics. In this issue, Ganguli et al. have carried out a randomized switching study, the data from which indicates the tactics that might be optimal. We put this paper into context, provide a critique and describe indications for switching.

Publication types

  • Comment
  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Antipsychotic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Humans
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy*
  • Withholding Treatment*

Substances

  • Antipsychotic Agents