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

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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