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What effect has substance abuse on outcome of schizophrenia treated with antipsychotics?

November 02, 2017

In this review, the effect of substance and drug abuse on the outcome of schizophrenia was examined. Antipsychotic drugs represent a palliative treatment of schizophrenia, and long-term administration of these drugs is not secure. Many schizophrenic patients who are treated by second-generation antipsychotic drugs, do not adhere to the pharmacotherapy and consume substances such as nicotine and alcohol or drugs such as cannabis and amphetamines. Nicotine activates dopaminergic neurons and alcohol increases dopamine release. These substances and drugs can worsen psychotic symptoms. Our aim was to show measures to reduce substance and drug abuse and to increase patients' adherence to the pharmacological treatment. Consuming such substances and drugs and the non-adherence to the pharmacotherapy worsens the outcome of the disease. On one hand, the administration of long-acting injectable antipsychotic drugs increases the adherence to the pharmacotherapy. On the other hand, psychoeducation can enable to reduce substances and drugs abuse. Cannabis has two compounds, namely tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC) which is psychotomimetic and cannabidiol (CBD) which has antipsychotic properties. CBD can reduce psychotic symptoms. Vancreline, a nicotinergic cholinergic agonist can enable to reduce smoking.
Find out more about the review here:

Press release: Werner FM, Coveñas R. Long-term administration of antipsychotic drugs in schizophrenia and influence of substance and drug abuse on the disease outcome. Curr Drug Abuse Rev. 2017 Nov 02. doi: 10.2174/1874473710666171020104524. [Epub ahead of print]

Dr. Felix-Martin Werner
Euro Akademie Pößneck
07381 Pößneck

Prof. Dr. Rafael Coveñas
Institute of Neurosciences of Castilla and León
Laboratory 14
37007 Salamanca

Bentham Science Publishers

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