Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of aripiprazole in clinical practice.
Method: Prospective follow-up of patients consecutively prescribed aripiprazole in an acute mental health unit. Retrospective analysis of outcome from casenotes.
Results: Data were available on 228 patients. Fifty-one per cent discontinued aripiprazole over 6-month follow-up. Continuation with treatment was more likely in out-patients [relative risk (RR) 1.50; 95% CI: 1.13–2.00], those never before considered for clozapine treatment (RR 1.61, 95% CI: 1.06–2.44) and older patients [RR 1.05, 95% CI: 1.01–1.09 (per 5-year increase)]. The main reason for early discontinuation was the occurrence of minor adverse effects.
Conclusion: Aripiprazole is effective in practice. Outcome is likely to be improved by careful patient selection and by attending to adverse effects experienced early in treatment.