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Review: depot antipsychotics may reduce risk of relapse compared with oral antipsychotics in people with schizophrenia

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Is risk of relapse reduced in patients with schizophrenia using depot antipsychotic drug regimens compared with oral drugs?


Primary outcome: risk of relapse. Secondary outcomes: rehospitalisation, non-adherence to drug regimen, discontinuation of treatment (any cause).



Systematic review and meta-analysis.

Data sources

Eligible studies were identified through hand searches of Cochrane reviews of single depot antipsychotics. Update searches were carried out in the Cochrane Schizophrenia Group database in June 2009, and additional studies were identified by hand searching of reference lists, specific journal and conference proceedings, the website and contact with manufacturers of depot drugs to identify further trial data.

Study selection and analysis

Studies were included if they were randomised controlled trials (RCT) comparing oral and depot drug regimens of antipsychotic medications in outpatients with schizophrenia or related disorders, with at least 1 year of follow-up. Studies in which fewer than 25% of participants were initially in inpatient settings were also deemed eligible. Studies were excluded if randomisation procedures were inadequate. Data extraction and bias assessment were performed by two reviewers. Meta-analysis was used to combine the results of eligible studies, and RR and numbers needed to treat …

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  • Sources of funding None.


  • Competing interests None.

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