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Original Research

The Texas Medication Algorithm Project Antipsychotic Algorithm for Schizophrenia: 2006 Update

Troy A. Moore, PharmD, MS; Robert W. Buchanan, MD; Peter F. Buckley, MD; John A. Chiles, MD; Robert R. Conley, MD; M. Lynn Crismon, PharmD; Susan M. Essock, PhD; Molly Finnerty, MD; Stephen R. Marder, MD; Del D. Miller, PharmD, MD; Joseph P. McEvoy, MD; Delbert G. Robinson, MD; Nina R. Schooler, PhD; Steven P. Shon, MD; T. Scott Stroup, MD, MPH; and Alexander L. Miller, MD

Published: November 15, 2007

Article Abstract

Background: A panel of academic psychiatrists and pharmacists, clinicians from the Texas public mental health system, advocates, and consumers met in June 2006 in Dallas, Tex., to review recent evidence in the pharmacologic treatment of schizophrenia. The goal of the consensus conference was to update and revise the Texas Medication Algorithm Project (TMAP) algorithm for schizophrenia used in the Texas Implementation of Medication Algorithms, a statewide quality assurance program for treatment of major psychiatric illness.

Method: Four questions were identified via premeeting teleconferences. (1) Should antipsychotic treatment of first-episode schizophrenia be different from that of multiepisode schizophrenia? (2) In which algorithm stages should first-generation antipsychotics (FGAs) be an option? (3) How many antipsychotic trials should precede a clozapine trial? (4) What is the status of augmentation strategies for clozapine? Subgroups reviewed the evidence in each area and presented their findings at the conference.

Results: The algorithm was updated to incorporate the following recommendations. (1) Persons with first-episode schizophrenia typically require lower antipsychotic doses and are more sensitive to side effects such as weight gain and extrapyramidal symptoms (group consensus). Second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) are preferred for treatment of first-episode schizophrenia (majority opinion). (2) FGAs should be included in algorithm stages after first episode that include SGAs other than clozapine as options (group consensus). (3) The recommended number of trials of other antipsychotics that should precede a clozapine trial is 2, but earlier use of clozapine should be considered in the presence of persistent problems such as suicidality, comorbid violence, and substance abuse (group consensus). (4) Augmentation is reasonable for persons with inadequate response to clozapine, but published results on augmenting agents have not identified replicable positive results (group consensus).

Conclusions: These recommendations are meant to provide a framework for clinical decision making, not to replace clinical judgment. As with any algorithm, treatment practices will evolve beyond the recommendations of this consensus conference as new evidence and additional medications become available.

Volume: 68

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