Maintenance therapy and the natural course of schizophrenia

J Clin Psychiatry. 1985 Nov;46(11 Pt 2):18-21.


A review of the available data indicates that schizophrenia has a constant relapse rate of approximately 10% per month in unmedicated patients. Relapse rates are much lower in patients given maintenance treatment with antipsychotic medication; reported differences range from 2.5- to 10-fold decreases. In first admission schizophrenic patients, initial drug treatment improves the prognosis over the next few years. A comparison of the efficacy of antipsychotic drugs with that of drugs commonly used in medical treatment indicates that current treatment for schizophrenia produces an improvement in efficacy equal to that seen with these medications.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Antipsychotic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antipsychotic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dopamine Antagonists
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Placebos
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Receptors, Dopamine / drug effects
  • Recurrence
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy*
  • Schizophrenia / prevention & control
  • Schizophrenic Psychology


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Dopamine Antagonists
  • Placebos
  • Receptors, Dopamine