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ISSN: 1935-1232 (P)

ISSN: 1941-2010 (E)

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Abstract

Optimizing Outcome with Antipsychotic Treatment in First-Episode Schizophrenia: Balancing Efficacy and Side Effects

Author(s): Oliver Freudenreich, , Joseph P. McEvoy

The initial tailoring of antipsychotic medication for an individual experiencing a first episode of psychosis (FEP) is a critical empirical process with potentially far-reaching consequences. This article reviews the results of randomized treatment trials of clinically available first-generation antipsychotics (FGAs) and second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) in individuals experiencing FEP, addressing these medications’ relative therapeutic potentials and their proclivities to produce a range of unwanted side effects. The authors will argue that the best clinical long-term outcomes will be achieved with: 1) a “succeed-first” strategy of identifying those treatment-responsive individuals who will have a good response to neuroleptic threshold doses of well-tolerated FGAs (thereby avoiding weight gain, insulin resistance, and prolactin-induced changes in gender-specific physiology); and, 2) an early trial of clozapine in treatmentnonresponsive FEP patients.