A Case Series on the Use of Atypical Long Acting Injectable as First-line Antipsychotic Treatment in Malaysia: Who Benefits and How?

Nik Ruzyanei NJ, Hazli Z, Chong YS, Marhani M

Abstract


Introduction: The use of long acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotics is mainly reserved as the second line treatment when all efforts to ensure patients’ adherence to regular oral medication failed. We aim to describe the common clinical features of patients with schizophrenia who benefited from the use of LAI early in the course of illness.  Methods: We report four patients with first presentation of schizophrenia, all of whom were started with atypical LAI antipsychotics without prior history of oral antipsychotic. Results: In all of the cases, short acting major tranquilizers were not administered in the acute phase of psychosis because the patients were not agitated. Beside absence of agitation, other common clinical features observed in the four patients were prominent delusion (rather than hallucination), obstinate refusal of oral medication, good pre-morbid functioning and very poor insight. Interestingly, following the remission of the acute psychotic phase, all showed marked improvement in their insight and had better than expected therapeutic alliance. Discussion: LAI may improve the doctor-patient therapeutic alliance due to its minimal side effects and by ways of increasing the patients’ sense of control and allowing psychoeducation to take place when the patient is ready. We conclude that LAI may be used as the first line antipsychotic treatment in the acute psychotic phase in patients who are non-agitated but have prominent symptom of delusions with poor insight.

Keywords


Antipsychotics; Depot Preparation; Acute Psychosis

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