Early use of a long acting injectable antipsychotic shortens hospital stay for acute schizophrenia

Average hospital stay for patients treated with a long-acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotic medication was 21 days, and this was shortened further to 16.3 days if the LAI was given within the first week of admission. These are the findings presented in a poster by Santiago Ovejero from Madrid, Spain, at IEPA 18.

Traditionally acute psychosis has been treated with oral antipsychotics. A piece of research looked at the use of an LAI to treat 51 patients — 30 men, 21 women, average age 35.6 years — admitted to two hospitals in Spain for acute schizophrenia.

Many of the patients had a substance use disorder — most commonly cannabis (27.5% of patients) and alcohol (15.7% of patients).

Hospital stay 16.3 days and 28.4 days when LAI given in first week and after first week, respectively

All patients were treated with an LAI at some point during their hospital stay, though this was discontinued for one patient before discharge due to a lack of efficacy.

The average hospital stay for all patients was 21 days. However, this was shortened to 16.3 days when the LAI was administered was in the first week of admission (linear regression; r<0.0001).

If the LAI was given more than 1 week after admission, the average hospital stay was 28.4 days (p=0.007 for t test for administration of LAI <1week after admission vs >1week after admission).

Five patients experienced adverse effects — three developed akathisia and two developed extrapyramidal symptoms.

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