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Schizophrenia patients discharged on clozapine plus long-acting injectable antipsychotics from a public psychiatric hospital in Taiwan, 2006-2021.

BACKGROUND: Some schizophrenia patients treated with clozapine experience an inadequate response and adherence problems. The purpose of this study was to compare time to rehospitalization within 6 months in schizophrenia patients discharged on three clozapine regimens. Additionally, the temporal trend of prescription rate in each group was also explored.

METHODS: Schizophrenia patients discharged from the study hospital from January 1, 2006, to December 31, 2021, (n = 3,271) were included in the analysis. The type of clozapine prescribed at discharge was divided into three groups: clozapine plus long-acting injectable antipsychotics (clozapine + LAIs), clozapine plus other oral antipsychotics (clozapine + OAPs), and clozapine monotherapy. Survival analysis was used to compare time to rehospitalization within 6 months after discharge among the three groups. The temporal trend in the prescription rate of each group was analyzed using the Cochran-Armitage Trend test.

RESULTS: Patients discharged on clozapine + LAIs had a significantly longer time to rehospitalization than those on clozapine + OAPs or clozapine monotherapy. The prescription rates of clozapine + LAIs and clozapine + OAPs significantly increased over time, whereas the prescription rates of clozapine monotherapy significantly decreased.

CONCLUSIONS: Compared with clozapine + OAPs group, clozapine + LAIs group had a lower risk of rehospitalization and a lower dose of clozapine prescribed. Therefore, if a second antipsychotic is required for patients who are taking clozapine alone, LAIs should be considered earlier.

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