February 07, 2006

Multiple drugs may not help, study suggests

Taking multiple antipsychotic drugs at the same time (known as "poly-pharmacy" in the medical profession) may not help people who have schizophrenia, a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests. Taking multiple medications (at lower dosages) for schizophrenia ia a common approach in the USA, in an attempt to get the benefits of each drug, without the side effects that are common with higher dosages. This new research does not seem to support this practice as effective. This is just one study, so more research is needed to make a more definative conclusion.

In a new study reported on by Reuters, patients who had schizophrenia and who took two antipsychotic drugs showed no more improvement than those on a single drug, raising doubts about the benefit of using multiple medicines to treat the disease.

Reuters reported that "In the study that included 68 people, half the group took clozapine along with Janssen's Risperdal. The other half were given clozapine with a placebo. Both groups showed the same degree of improvement during the 26-week trial, but there was a slight deterioration in memory among the ones taking Risperdal.

William Honer, chief author of the study, said the results offer no support for the idea of prescribing multiple drugs, at least from the same class, especially to people who got little help from clozapine. "

Source: New England Journal of Medicine


I don't believe this study gives a representative view of the real experience of many patients who are experiencing real life polypharmacy. I, myself, diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, am on primarily on Geodon, but also take very a small dose of Seroquel and a tiny dose of Abilify daily. This combination works very well and I feel like my treatment is state of the art, the combination perhaps being synergistic. However, I certainly wouldn't want to combine Clozaril with Resperdal, after my previous experiences with both of those drugs individually. I think medications can compliment each other, and certainly the drugs I am taking do just that.
My quality of life is excellent and my side-effects are low. My level of recovery is very gratifying and goes beyond anything I would have anticipated possible before these medications were availble.

Posted by: meghan caughey at March 8, 2006 09:47 AM

Post a comment

Please enter this code to enable your comment -
Remember Me?
(you may use HTML tags for style)
* indicates required