Yesterday, the New York Times reported that schizophrenia patients in an experimental treatment program (RAISE) who experienced better outcomes had been on lower doses of antipsychotics than normal. However, the article published in the American Journal of Psychiatry on Tuesday did not divulge any data on the varying antipsychotic drug doses in the different study groups.
The study’s lead author, Dr. John Kane, told the ‘Times, that to minimize the bad effects of the drugs those in the new treatment group received the lowest doses possible- up to 50% less than what is prescribed in standard treatments.
This has led to some confusion—was the quote from the ‘Times article reflective of data that, for some reason, was not reported in the study? Or did the New York Times, in its reporting on the article, make a mistake as to whether those who had the best outcomes received the lowest doses possible?
In a post for the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), director Thomas Insel referred to the RAISE program as including “low dose medication management,” but failed to elaborate on the different antipsychotic doses used in the study.
This is an important issue, and hopefully future published articles will detail antipsychotic usage in the study and its relation to varying outcomes.