Treatment resistance constitutes a significant dilemma in schizophrenia since it affects a substantial number of patients, their families and the health care professionals involved in their care. Nonresponsiveness needs to be approached as a multidimensional syndrome by specifying which symptoms in the spectrum of positive symptoms, negative symptoms, excitement/hostility, cognitive symptoms, and anxiety/depression are failing to respond to treatment. This review presents some of the clinical, demographic and biological correlates of nonresponse, in addition to compliance issues, psychosocial factors or side effects and as-yet-untreated comorbidities as a source for nonresponse. The effects of the atypicals clozapine, olanzapine, risperidone and quetiapine as compared to typicals are reviewed using available double-blind studies in this treatment refractory group of schizophrenia patients. The limited number of reports on the comparison of atypical compounds amongst each other are critically presented. Given that a subset of patients still do not respond to these agents, clinicians are using various augmentation strategies. We review studies with augmentation strategies which remain difficult to interpret given the open label and uncontrolled nature of most of these studies.
Psychiatric Quarterly – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 9, 2004
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