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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

e - on PANSS total score after two weeks of treatment. Early responders were compared to early non-responders (patients that did not show at least a minimal level of early improvement) on symptom remission, physical and mental health functioning, perceptions of medication influence, and total healthcare costs at eight weeks. Statistically significant findings included:

     - Early response or non-response at two weeks predicted subsequent

       response or non-response at eight weeks with a high overall level of

       accuracy (73 percent).

     - Almost all (88.7 percent) of non-responders at eight weeks were

       correctly identified at two weeks (high specificity).

     - Early non-responders were less likely to achieve symptom remission

       after eight weeks of treatment with the same antipsychotic (only 27.5

       percent of early non-responders achieved remission vs. 46.9 percent of

       responders, p<0.001).

     - Early non-responders improved less on physical and mental functioning

       (p<0.05), perceived adherence with medication as less beneficial

       (p<0.05), and incurred nearly twice as many total healthcare costs

       ($4,336 vs. $2,102, p<0.01).

These data need to be evaluated in the context of their limitations. These were post-hoc analyses limited to patients who completed eight weeks of treatment on the initially randomized medication. There is a need for additional research that measures a priori the predictive accuracy of early non-response as a reliable marker of subsequent non-response. There is also a need for additional studies that assess a priori the clinical, functional, and healthcare costs of early non-responders to antipsychotic medication regimens, and whether changes in the initial regimens result in subsequent improvements in treatment outcomes.

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