On September 1, 2020, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) released a new practice guideline for treating people with schizophrenia. The guideline recommends that people with schizophrenia have a documented, comprehensive, and person-centered treatment plan that includes evidence-based non-pharmacological and pharmacological treatments. The guideline also recommends or suggests options for treating side effects associated with antipsychotic medication. The goal is to reduce the mortality, morbidity, and significant psychosocial and health consequences of schizophrenia.
The pharmacotherapy recommendations include the following:
- Antipsychotic medication with monitoring for effectiveness and side effects; continuation of medication for those whose symptoms have improved;
- Clozapine for those with treatment-resistant schizophrenia or those with substantial risk of suicide or suicide attempts; and
- Long-acting injectable antipsychotics for those who prefer them.
The psychosocial intervention recommendations include the following:
- Coordinated specialty care program for those experiencing a first episode of psychosis; and
- Cognitive behavioral therapy for psychosis, psychoeducation, and supported employment services.
The guideline was developed using a systematic process that is intended to be consistent with the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine and the Council of Medical Specialty Societies. It was approved by the APA Board of Trustees at its December 2019 meeting. An executive summary of the guideline was published in the September 2020 issue of American Journal of Psychiatry.
This was reported by the American Psychiatric Association on September 1, 2020.
Contact information: American Psychiatric Association, 800 Maine Avenue, S.W., Suite 900, Washington, District of Columbia 20024; 202-559-3900; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website https://www.psychiatry.org/.