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The use of amisulpride in the treatment of acute psychosis

Authors Philippe Nuss, Martina Hummer, Cédric Tessier

Published 15 March 2007 Volume 2007:3(1) Pages 3—11

Philippe Nuss1, Martina Hummer2, Cédric Tessier1
1Université Pierre et Marie Curie- Paris6, INSERM U538, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France; 2Department of Biological Psychiatry, Innsbruck University Hospital, Innsbruck, Austria
Abstract: The management of acute episodes in schizophrenia is frequently initiated in the psychiatric emergency department and requires rapid intervention to relieve distress and psychiatric symptoms. Both non-pharmacological and pharmacological interventions are needed to calm the patient and prevent potential harm to the patient or others. Treatment is a step-by-step process including management of behavioral symptomatology, diagnosis of potential organic causes, and evaluation of potential substance abuse. Better care is delivered if predefined standard operating procedures are adopted systematically. The ultimate goal of treatment is to establish a therapeutic alliance with the patient. Atypical antipsychotics given orally are recommended as a first-line treatment. As the treatment endpoint is calmness rather than sleep, a non-sedative antipsychotic agent is usually preferred. Drug tolerance is a major issue for the patient. Amisulpride is an effective atypical antipsychotic agent in this context. The optimal dose is 800 mg/day, which is effective on positive and negative symptoms and can be given from the first day with a low risk of extrapyramidal symptoms. Since drug–drug interactions are limited, agitation and anxiety may be controlled by short-term adjunctive therapy with benzodiazepines. In conclusion, amisulpride is an appropriate first-line treatment for the management of acute psychosis.

Keywords: amisulpride, schizophrenia, acute psychosis, efficacy, safety

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