May 2, 2012 -- More than 50 years of data show that people with schizophrenia who take antipsychotic drugs lower their risk of relapse, a new study suggests.
Relapse rates were 64% in people not taking medications for schizophrenia, while they were 27% in those who were given them for at least a year. Relapse -- meaning symptoms get worse or come back after a period of improvement -- is a common occurrence in people with schizophrenia.
The study also shows that people treated with these drugs are also less likely to be hospitalized or to behave aggressively or violently.
For this review study, scientists analyzed data from nearly 6,500 people with schizophrenia who participated in 65 research trials published between 1959 and 2011.
Since the evidence spanned more than 50 years, researchers were able to include in the analysis older antipsychotic drugs used to treat the condition, such as Haldol and Thorazine, and newer medications known as atypical antipsychotics, such as Abilify, Clozaril, Fazaclo, and Risperdal.��
The study is published online in The Lancet. http://www.webmd.com/schizophrenia/news ... RSS_PUBLIC