The evidence base for the use of antipsychotics to treat schizophrenia comes from research showing that the drugs are effective in treating acute symptoms (1), and that when the drugs are abruptly withdrawn, patients are at high risk of relapse (2). These studies, however, do not address whether continual long-term use leads to better overall outcomes.
1. Phenothiazine Treatment in Acute Schizophrenia. Cole, J. Archives of General Psychiatry 10 (1964):246-61.
2. Neuroleptic Withdrawal in Schizophrenic Patients. Gilbert, P. Archives of General Psychiatry 52 (1995): 173-88. (Abstract only.)
Mad in America Documents
The evidence for antipsychotics
Antipsychotics and chronic illness
Antipsychotics and progressive brain dysfunction
Outcomes in the era of atypical antipsychotics
Early death associated with antipsychotic drugs
Modern experimental programs producing better outcomes
Timeline for antipsychotics