Tolerability and effectiveness of antipsychotics are important to increase treatment compliance in people with schizophrenia. The aim of this study was to evaluate effectiveness, tolerability, and adherence to treatment with high doses of risperidone long-acting injectable (RLAI) in patients with severe schizophrenia.
It is a 3-year prospective, observational study of patients with severe (Clinical Global Impression Severity scale [CGI-S] score of ≥5) schizophrenia according to International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) criteria. Subjects were the consecutive 60 who first underwent treatment with RLAI with doses of 75 mg or higher every 14 days to get clinical stabilization.
Assessment included the following: CGI-S, World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule, Camberwell Assessment of Need (CAN), Medication Adherence Rating Scale, laboratory tests, weight, and hospital admissions.
The mean (SD) dose of RLAI was 111.2 (9.1) mg per 14 days. Tolerability was good and there were almost no interruptions due to adverse effects or to relevant biological parameters alterations. Also, weight gain was not significant.
Retention rate in treatment after 3 years was 95%. Clinical Global Impression Severity (P < 0.01) and Camberwell Assessment of Need (P < 0.01) decreased and also Disability Assessment Schedule in the 4 areas (P < 0.01). Medication Adherence Rating Scale score increased from 3.6 (0.7) to 8.9 (0.9) (P < 0.001). There were significantly few hospital admissions than during the previous 36 months (1.9 [1.3] vs 0.31 [0.2], P < 0.001).
As a conclusion, we highlight that the effectiveness and tolerability of 75 mg or higher every 14 days of RLAI were high, being useful in improving treatment adherence in patients with severe schizophrenia, getting good clinical and functional outcomes.