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Keywords:

  • risperidone;
  • olanzapine;
  • compliance;
  • weight gain;
  • schizophrenia

Objective:  To evaluate the long-term effectiveness of the second generation antipsychotics, risperidone and olanzapine on hospitalization, clinical response, and adherence to therapy after switching from conventional antipsychotics or clozapine in a naturalistic setting of schizophrenic patients.

Method:  Data were registered for periods of identical duration before and after switching.

Results:  Fifty-seven patients were included. Mean study period was 3.1 ± 0.2 years. Mean number of in-patient days after switching declined by 78% of the level before switching (P=0.0002). There was no significant differences in ratio responders/non-responders between the subgroups. The number of patients with extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS) was significantly reduced after switching. However, intolerable weight gain led to a lack of adherence to therapy in 18% of the olanzapine-treated patients.

Conclusion:  Long-term treatment with the second generation antipsychotics, risperidone and olanzapine significantly improved the clinical outcome. However, weight gain may be a significant reason for discontinuation of treatment and reducing the long-term adherence to therapy.