Antipsychotic drug injections reduced rehospitalizations by 75%: Study

Piscataway, N.J.-based Rutgers University Health researchers found long-acting injectable medications of schizophrenia decrease rehospitalizations by 75%.

The study, published Jan. 17 in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, analyzed data from hospital systems where patients were discharged with schizophrenia or schizoaffective-related disorders from August 2019 to June 2022.

Of discharged patients, 240 opted for oral medications and 103 opted for long-acting injections. Patients on oral medication had a hospital readmission rate of 8.3% over 30 days, but patients with injections had readmission rates that were lower than 2%.

The majority of patients with injectable drugs need a new shot every one to two months. There are also formulations for once every three and six months, Daniel Greer, PharmD, Rutgers University psychiatric clinical pharmacist and lead study author, told PBS affiliate WHYY. However, injectable medications can be more expensive than oral and historically, health insurers prefer oral medications, he said.

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