Background: Data from the USA, Australia and Europe suggest that the proportion of patients with schizophrenia prescribed an antipsychotic long-acting injection (LAI) varies from around a quarter to a third. Use of LAIs has been associated with male gender and younger age.
Aims: To characterise the use of LAIs in people with schizophrenia in three clinical settings in the UK.
Method: The study used audit data from quality improvement programmes conducted by the Prescribing Observatory for Mental Health.
Results: Long-acting injections were found to be prescribed for between a quarter and a third of patients, depending on the clinical setting. Flupentixol, risperidone and zuclopenthixol were most commonly prescribed and were combined with an oral antipsychotic in half of cases, frequently constituting high-dose prescribing. The use of LAIs was not consistently associated with age, gender or ethnicity.
Conclusions: Antipsychotic LAIs are commonly prescribed. We did not replicate previous findings with respect to demographic variables associated with their use.