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Article   |    
Intermittent Pharmacotherapy in Chronic Schizophrenia
Robert F. Prien; Roderic D. Gillis; Eugene M. Caffey, JR.
Psychiatric Services 1973; doi:
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Central Neuropsychiatric Research Laboratory Veterans Administration Hospital Perry Poin!, Maryland

Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences Service Department of Medicine and Surgery Veterans Administration Washington, D. C.

American Psychiatric Association

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In an 18-hospital collaborative study, 375 chronic schizophrenics on stable maintenance doses of anti-psychotic drugs were assigned to one of four groups in which medication was withdrawn two or three days a week on varying schedules, or to one in which daily medication was continued. At the end of 16 weeks, there was no significant difference in relapse rate between the continued-treatment and intermittent-treatment groups. That finding suggests that short-term intermittent drug withdrawal is a feasible treatment policy for hospitalized chronic schizophrenics on maintenance chemotherapy. The benefits of a successful intermittent therapy program include less risk of toxicity for the patient; less work for the staff, allowing more time for other therapeutic activities; and lower drug costs for the hospital.

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