Patients with schizophrenia are less likely to re-admitted into hospital if they have been treated with a long-acting injection of Johnson & Johnson’s antipsychotic Risperdal (risperidone), according to a new UK study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

The study looked at the records of 100 patients with schizophrenia who had completed 12 months of therapy with risperidone long-acting injection (LAI) after switching over from other therapies for various reasons, including side effects, a lack of efficacy and poor compliance.

It was found that, in the 12 months following treatment initiation with risperidone LAI there was a significant cut in hospital admissions compared to the 12-month period before, and the researchers concluded that this also meant a lower rate of relapse of schizophrenic episodes, which itself is often the result of patients not sticking to their treatment regimens.

“For many people, relapse can be a result of non-adherence to antipsychotic medication and this study suggests that long-acting injections of antipsychotic medication may help break this cycle,” explained Dr Mark Taylor, the lead investigator of the study from the Spring Park Centre, Glasgow, and he added that “long-acting injections with an atypical antipsychotic are a significant step forward in the management of schizophrenia."