Article: article from journal or magazin.
Review (review): journal as complete as possible of one specific subject, written based on exhaustive analyses from published work.
Pharmacotherapy of first-episode psychosis.
Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
Early intervention in psychosis has attracted more attention in the last few years. The treatment of this phase of the disorders requires a specific and adapted approach. The issue of engaging the patient is so critical that it influences not only the choice of medication, but also the context and the way in which it is administered. In the case of a first admission, patients should be observed for 24-48 h without any antipsychotic treatment, in order to clarify the diagnosis and exclude the possibility that symptoms are caused by acute intoxication with illicit substances, for example. The diagnosis is often difficult and unstable. A dimensional, rather than a categorical approach, is usually more likely to be adopted. In recent years, atypical antipsychotics have become the most frequently used first-line treatment. They are less likely to cause secondary negative symptoms, cognitive impairments and dysphoria. They also appear to influence the course of depression and hostility/aggression better than conventional neuroleptics, have possibly mood-stabilising properties and, subjectively, are often better accepted by patients. On the risk side, prevalence of acute extrapyramidal side effects and possibly tardive dyskinesia are lower, compared to the older neuroleptics. Although, the risk for short-term weight gain, cardiovascular, and especially hyperglycaemic complications are somewhat higher for some of these antipsychotics. Finally, the dose should be adapted as it has been shown that patients presenting a first psychotic episode respond to a lower dose of antipsychotic. This article focuses on the pharmacotherapy of first-episode psychosis, on the basis of a computerised and a manual search for articles dealing with antipsychotic treatment of these patients. Findings are discussed and combined in clinical guidelines for first-episode affective and non-affective psychosis, for patients with incomplete recovery or treatment resistance, for cases of emergency and for side effects associated with antipsychotic treatment.
Antipsychotic Agents/adverse effects, Antipsychotic Agents/therapeutic use, Clinical Trials as Topic, Diagnosis, Differential, Electrocardiography/drug effects, Humans, Psychopharmacology, Psychotic Disorders/classification, Psychotic Disorders/diagnosis, Risk Factors, Social Support, Treatment Outcome, Weight Gain/drug effects
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