Call for wider use of new schizophrenia drugs

    The Mental Health After Care Association (Maca) is pushing that
    new guidelines on the treatment of schizophrenia should promote
    wider use of expensive new drugs. The guidelines are currently
    being drawn up by the National Institute for Clinical

    Its research into prescribing habits across the UK suggests
    that younger people are far more likely to be prescribed the new
    generation treatments while older people – particularly those from
    long stay hospitals – receive the old-style medication.

    The study found that patients’ quality of life was
    significantly reduced both by the use of old-style drugs with
    strong side effects, and by the use of medication to counteract
    those side effects.

    Newer drugs, by contrast, were reported to have fewer side
    effects and were associated with an improved quality of life and
    better mental health among both service users and mental health
    service staff.

    Prescribing habits varied widely across different areas, with
    some health authorities relying heavily on older drugs and rarely
    prescribing newer drugs. In other health authorities newer drugs
    were prescribed.

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