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Use of second-generation antipsychotics in the acute inpatient management of schizophrenia in the Middle East

Authors Alkhadhari S, Al Zain N, Darwish T, Khan S, Okasha T, Ramy H, Matar Tadros T, Simpson C

Received 6 December 2014

Accepted for publication 18 February 2015

Published 1 April 2015 Volume 2015:11 Pages 915—924


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Sulaiman Alkhadhari,1 Nasser Al Zain,2 Tarek Darwish,3 Suhail Khan,4 Tarek Okasha,5 Hisham Ramy,5 Talaat Matar Tadros6

1Kuwait Center for Mental Health, Safat, Kuwait; 2Al Amal Complex for Mental Health Hospital, Dammam, Saudi Arabia; 3Behavioural Science Pavilion, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; 4Jeddah Psychiatric Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; 5Institute of Psychiatry, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt; 6Ibrahim Bin Hamad Obaidallah and Seif Bin Ghubash Hospitals, Ras Alkhaimah, United Arab Emirates

Background: Management of acute psychotic episodes in schizophrenic patients remains a significant challenge for clinicians. Despite treatment guidelines recommending that second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) should be used as monotherapy, first-generation antipsychotics, polypharmacy, and lower than recommended doses are frequently administered in clinical practice. Minimal data exist regarding the use of SGAs in the Middle East. The objective of this study was to examine the discrepancies between current clinical practice and guideline recommendations in the region.
Methods: RECONNECT-S Beta was a multicenter, noninterventional study conducted in Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates to observe the management of schizophrenic patients who were hospitalized due to an acute psychotic episode. Patients underwent one visit on the day of discharge. Demographic and medical history, together with data on antipsychotic treatment and concomitant medication during the hospitalization period and medication recommendations at discharge were recorded.
Results: Of the 1,057 patients, 180 (17.0%) and 692 (65.5%) received SGAs as monotherapy and in combination therapy, respectively. Overall, the most frequently administered medications were given orally, and included risperidone (40.3%), olanzapine (32.5%), and quetiapine (24.6%); the doses administered varied between countries and deviated from the recommended guidelines. Upon discharge, 93.9% of patients were prescribed SGAs as maintenance therapy, and 84.8% were prescribed the same medication(s) as during hospitalization.
Conclusion: Current clinical practice in the Middle East differs from guideline recommendations. Patients frequently received antipsychotics in combination therapy, by various methods of administration, and at doses above and below the recommended guidelines for the management of their acute psychotic episodes.

Keywords: schizophrenia, Middle East, second-generation antipsychotic, acute psychotic episode, treatment guidelines

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