Pharmacotherapy for treatment-refractory schizophrenia

Scott P. Van Sant, Peter F. Buckley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Introduction: Despite advances in pharmacotherapy of schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, a large percentage of persons with schizophrenia remain at least partially nonresponsive to treatment, leading to increased morbidity/mortality, increased healthcare cost, and poor quality of life for affected individuals. Areas covered: This paper comprises a review of recent research in drug therapy for schizophrenia, particularly treatment-refractory schizophrenia, with a focus on research conducted between 2005 and June 2010. Databases that were searched include: Pubmed, CINAHL, Science Direct, Medline and Clinical Primary search terms were 'treatment-refractory schizophrenia' and 'treatment-resistant schizophrenia', with cross reference to specific agents covered in this article. An objective perspective on current trends in pharmacotherapy for treatment-refractory schizophrenia. We review the available evidence and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of published data in this field. Expert opinion: Although there have been many advances in pharmacotherapy for schizophrenia, more well-designed trials are required to establish true efficacy and safety of current prescribing trends in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-434
Number of pages24
JournalExpert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • pharmacotherapy
  • refractory
  • schizophrenia
  • treatment-resistant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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