Despite their widespread use, long-acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotics (APs) are often regarded with some negativity because of the assumption of punishment, control and insufficient evolution towards psychosocial development of patients. However, LAI APs have proved effective in schizophrenia and other severe psychotic disorders because they assure stable blood levels, leading to a reduction of the risk of relapse. Therapeutic opportunities have also arisen after introduction of newer, second-generation LAI APs in recent years. Newer LAI APs are more readily dosed optimally, may be better tolerated and are better suited to integrated rehabilitation programmes. This review outlines the older and newer LAI APs available for the treatment of schizophrenia, with considerations of past and present pharmacological and therapeutic issues. Traditional, evidence-based approaches to systematic reviews and randomized clinical trials are of limited utility in this area so this paper's blending of experimental trials with observational research is particularly appropriate and effective.
Keywords: adherence; atypical; clinical trial; depot; history; long-acting injections; pharmacology; treatment; typical.