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New Data Show Early Non-Response to Antipsychotic Treatment May Be,Strong Predictor of Subsequent Non-Response for People with,Schizophrenia

Findings indicate early non-responders unlikely to subsequently respond, have substantially more treatment costs, and may benefit from earlier change in treatment strategy

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., April 03, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- New data presented at the 2007 International Congress on Schizophrenia Research (ICOSR) suggest that antipsychotic drug response be assessed earlier than is presently thought, and challenge the current schizophrenia treatment paradigm for when to evaluate if an antipsychotic medication is working effectively.

The findings show that early non-response to antipsychotic medication, as early as two weeks into treatment, appears to strongly predict subsequent lack of response in patients with schizophrenia. Compared to "early responders" - patients who responded to their antipsychotic medication after two weeks of treatment - the "early non-responders" were less likely to achieve subsequent symptom remission, viewed medication adherence as less beneficial, had a lower level of functioning, and incurred twice as many total healthcare costs. The studies were conducted and funded by Eli Lilly and Company.

Early non-response may be a powerful marker to not only predict prognosis in schizophrenia, but also tailor appropriate treatment to the patient's immediate needs. These data support the need for clinicians' early evaluation of patients' treatment response, and the possible need for a change in the medication to potentially help minimize prolonging exposure to sub-optimal or ineffective treatment.

Current schizophrenia treatment guidelines recommend an initial trial of four to six weeks to determine if a patient will respond to an antipsychotic medication(i). However, these new data suggest this may be too long. Without early and effective treatment, patients with schizophrenia may experience devastating and costly events, such as hospitalization(ii), incarceratio
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