Objective: To evaluate neuroleptic dosing patterns in individuals with schizophrenia over a 10-year interval.
Method: Changes in neuroleptic dosing between 1980 and 1990 were followed in 65 patients with a diagnosis of chronic schizophrenia.
Results: According to more recent dosing guidelines, doses were already high at the time of initial evaluation, yet overall they continued to increase during the next decade of treatment for both males and females. Patients were almost equally divided, however, by those who underwent an increase (n = 33) and those whose dose remained stable (n = 4) or was decreased (n = 28).
Conclusion: A considerable number of patients with schizophrenia appear to receive progressively higher neuroleptic doses over the course of their illness, despite a lack of empirical data to support such an approach. Results are discussed in terms of current dosing recommendations and factors influencing dose changes.