Unbiased and Practical Psychopharmacology Updates For Prescribers

Recent articles and videos

Clozapine Augmentation for Treatment-Resistant Schizophrenia: What Does the Evidence Say?

Up to 30% of patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia treated with clozapine have residual positive symptoms. Clozapine augmentation is a common approach, but the evidence supporting this practice is limited.
According to the latest evidence, risperidone, lamotrigine, topiramate, or ECT are potential augmenting options.

Choosing Among Long-Acting Injectable Antipsychotics: Practical Aspects

David N. Osser, MD Associate Professor of Psychiatry Harvard Medical School Brockton Division of the VA Boston Healthcare System   First-generation LAIs (haloperidol, fluphenazine) have higher rates of acute extrapyramidal symptoms, tardive dyskinesia and hyperprolactinemia symptoms compared to most second-generation antipsychotics. However, they have lower costs. Most second-generation antipsychotics cost more than $1000 a month,…

Psychopharmacology Highlights from the 2018 APA Annual Meeting

This update summarizes algorithms for adult ADHD and MDD, use of psychotropic medications in breastfeeding, the role of pharmacogenetic testing in clinical practice and an immunotherapy approach to schizophrenia treatment.

Lamotrigine Is Not Slow: Comments About Its Efficacy in Bipolar Depression

James Phelps, MD Director Mood Disorders Program Samaritan Mental Health, Corvallis, OR. Dr. Phelps has no conflicts of interest to disclose. Lamotrigine has a reputation for being slow because of its long titration period. Lamotrigine was just as fast as the olanzapine/fluoxetine combination (OFC) in a trial sponsored by the manufacturer of OFC, Eli Lilly.…

Lamotrigine Interactions: Practical Recommendations on Divalproex, Carbamazepine and Oral Contraceptives Use

James Phelps, MD Director Mood Disorders Program Samaritan Mental Health, Corvallis, OR.   There are two drug interactions with lamotrigine that must be managed with special care. When lamotrigine is added to divalproex and when lamotrigine is used with carbamazepine. If the patient is already on divalproex and you are adding lamotrigine, cut lamotrigine dose…

Antipsychotic-Induced Dystonia: Diagnosis and Management

Michael D. Jibson, MD, PhD Professor of Psychiatry Director of Residency Education University of Michigan   Acute dystonic reactions are associated with antipsychotic use, especially with high-potency first-generation antipsychotics. About 90% of these reactions occur either in the first four days of treatment or after an increase in dose. Risk factors include large muscle mass,…

Antipsychotics for Agitation: Differences Between Tablets, Orally Disintegrating Tablets and Sublingual Formulations

Michael D. Jibson, MD, PhD Professor of Psychiatry Director of Residency Education University of Michigan This presentation discusses how to prescribe oral antipsychotics for acute agitation (standard tablets, orally disintegrating tablets, and a sublingual formulation). Orally disintegrating antipsychotics (Abilify Discmelt, Zyprexa Zydis, Risperdal M-Tab) are not absorbed transmucosally, they have to be swallowed. Orally disintegrating…

Managing Geriatric Bipolar Disorder: Use of Lithium and Anticonvulsants

Sandra A. Jacobson, M.D. Research Associate Professor University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix This presentation discusses selected concepts on the use of mood stabilizers in the elderly. Lithium serum levels are kept low (0.4 and 0.8 mEq/L), even for the treatment of mania in elders. Lithium should be dosed on a once nightly basis with…

Geriatric Psychopharmacology: How Pharmacokinetic and Pharmacodynamic Changes Affect Prescribing

Sandra A. Jacobson, M.D. Research Associate Professor University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix   In terms of pharmacokinetic changes, aging slows hepatic metabolism. However, liver function tests are poorly correlated with drug metabolizing activity. Normal aging does not affect glucuronidation reactions, but it does affect oxidation reactions. Psychotropics metabolized by glucuronidation are preferred in the…

Treatment-Resistant Depression: Augmentation with Second-Generation Antipsychotics (Aripiprazole vs Quetiapine)

Prof. Philip Cowen Professor of Psychopharmacology Department of Psychiatry University of Oxford, UK This presentation compares advantages and disadvantages of using quetiapine vs. aripiprazole as augmentation for treatment-resistant depression. It also addresses the common question of when to augment (antidepressant + SGA) vs. when to switch (prescribing a different antidepressant). Combination and Augmentation: Clarifying Concepts…

PDF: LAI Antipsychotics

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  • New formulations (Aristada, Invega Trinza)
  • Practical dosing tables
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