Daniel Greer, PharmD: Reduction in Rehospitalizations with Antipsychotic Injections for Schizophrenia

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In an interview with HCPLive, Daniel Greer, PharmD discussed his team’s study on how antipsychotic injections were linked to a greater reduction in 30-day rehospitalizations than oral medication.

Antipsychotic injections are linked to a 75% reduction in 30-day rehospitalizations compared with other oral antipsychotics for patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, a new study found.1,2

Led by Daniel Greer, PharmD, from St. Joseph’s University Medical Center and Rutgers Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, the single-center retrospective study aimed at assessing 30-day readmission rates for all patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder discharged from a single academic hospital from August 2019 – June 2022.

In an interview with HCPLive, Greer dived into the medical and financial advantages of psychotic injections, giving context as to why injections may be more favorable than pills for schizophrenia treatment.

“The biggest takeaway is that, although long-acting injectables can be maybe a little more expensive upfront than the oral medications. preventing someone from having remission of their symptoms or being readmitted is going to be a lot more troublesome to the patients,” Greer said. “So, when possible, if you’re able to, or if the patients [are] agreeable to it, try to maybe use the long-acting injectables more frequently.”

Greer said for a patient with symptoms of psychosis or schizophrenia, taking a daily pill “can be quite the task” and can often be forgotten. With injections, patients do not have to worry about remembering to take their medication as injections last for a long time. Formulations of injections can vary in how long they last, with some injections lasting every month, every 2 months, every 3 months, and every 6 months.

“When you take a pill, the level goes up and then your body metabolizes some of it and it goes back down,” Greer said. “So, there’s like a little bit of sawtooth pattern with your drug levels, whereas the long-acting injectables release really smoothly and slowly over a long period of time.”

References

  1. Derman, C. Antipsychotic Injections for Schizophrenia Linked to Decline in Hospital Readmissions. HCPLive. January 31, 2024. https://www.hcplive.com/view/antipsychotic-injections-schizophrenia-linked-decline-hospital-readmissions. Accessed February 2, 2024.
  2. Thaman P, Kulig CE, Greer D. Efficacy of Long-Acting Injectable Antipsychotics Versus Oral Antipsychotics in Preventing Psychiatric Rehospitalizations. J Clin Psychopharmacol. Published online January 17, 2024. doi:10.1097/JCP.0000000000001810
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