Long-Acting Injectable Antipsychotics Cut Readmission for Schizophrenia

Reduction in 30-day readmission rate seen for schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder with long-acting versus oral antipsychotics

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 7, 2024 (HealthDay News) — For patients diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, long-acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotics show a significant reduction in 30-day readmission compared with oral antipsychotics, according to a study published online Jan. 17 in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology.

Pragya Thaman, Pharm.D., from the Rutgers Pharmaceutical Fellowship Program in Piscataway, New Jersey, and colleagues conducted a single-center retrospective review comparing readmission rates of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder discharged on LAI or oral antipsychotics to examine the 30-day psychiatric readmission rate.

The researchers found that the 30-day readmission rate was 1.9 and 8.3 percent for the LAI antipsychotic and oral antipsychotic groups, respectively. For patients discharged on LAI and oral antipsychotic medications, the average chlorpromazine equivalent antipsychotic dose was 477.3 and 278.6 mg/day, respectively. The prevalence of medications used to treat extrapyramidal symptoms was 22.3 and 30.8 percent for the LAI antipsychotic and oral antipsychotic groups, respectively. Overall, 64 percent of LAI antipsychotics were from pharmaceutical companies via hospital inpatient free trial programs.

“The cost of the injections is far lower than the cost of hospital treatments,” lead author Daniel Greer, Pharm.D., from the Rutgers University Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, said in a statement. “And each additional visit to the hospital increases the odds that there will be more visits in the future. Every time someone experiences psychosis, they lose gray matter, and they suffer damage that never heals. That’s why it’s so vital to minimize psychotic episodes.”

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