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Risperidone Dosing Pattern and Clinical Outcome in Psychosis: An Analysis of 1713 Cases

J Clin Psychiatry 2005;66(7):887-893

Background: In treating patients with psychosis, practicing clinicians use various dosing strategies of antipsychotic medications, including risperidone. To evaluate the outcome of different risperidone dosing strategies in clinical practice, we undertook a large, prospective, naturalistic study in which daily dosage was determined freely by local standards of care.

Method: In a 6-week trial between December 2000 and January 2002, 1713 patients with DSM-IV schizophrenia and related psychoses were treated with risperidone, with the dose, daily changes in dose, and weekly changes in Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale score documented. Cluster analysis was performed to identify homogeneous dosing patterns among the heterogeneous total population.

Results: Of the 6 dosing patterns identified by cluster analysis, a 2-week titration cluster, with a starting dose of 1.8 mg/day titrated to a maximum dose of 4.7 mg/day at day 14, and a 1-week titration cluster, with a starting dose of 2.6 mg/day titrated to a maximum dose of 5.4 mg/day at day 7, showed superior clinical outcomes compared with the other clusters, in which titrations were slower and higher.

Conclusion: Our results indicate that the current consensus regarding risperidone dosing is appropriate for clinical practice, whereas a slower titration schedule does not guarantee a better clinical outcome, thus emphasizing the need for appropriate early titration.