Nonadherence to medications is a significant problem; in a recent study, 74 percent of patients discontinued their medication within 18 months. 16 Nonadherence often leads to relapse of symptoms. Atypical antipsychotics were initially thought to help with adherence because of their lower rate of neurologic side effects. However, meta-analyses have found that drop-out rates and relapse prevention are no better with atypical antipsychotics than with neuroleptics. 17 , 18 Meta-analyses also have found that in terms of symptom scores and drop-out rates, atypical antipsychotics are better than high dosages (., more than 12 mg per day) of haloperidol (Haldol); there was no advantage when the dosage of haloperidol was less than 12 mg per day. 17 In other words, many of the perceived benefits of atypical antipsychotics actually were a result of the excessive doses of first-generation antipsychotics that were used for comparison in randomized trials. 17 Evidence suggests that delays in initiating therapy with antipsychotics may result in a lifetime deleterious effect on psychotic episodes and social adjustment. 19 , 20 If initiation of antipsychotic therapy is delayed because of limited psychiatric resources, family physicians should consider starting medications instead.
Appropriate dosage of Prolixin Decanoate (Fluphenazine Decanoate Injection) should be individualized for each patient and responses carefully monitored. No precise formula can be given to convert to use of Prolixin Decanoate; however, a controlled multicentered study,* in patients receiving oral doses from 5 to 60 mg fluphenazine hydrochloride daily, showed that 20 mg fluphenazine hydrochloride daily was equivalent to 25 mg (1 mL) Prolixin Decanoate every three weeks. This represents an approximate conversion ratio of mL ( mg) of decanoate every three weeks for every 10 mg of fluphenazine hydrochloride daily.