Home > Mental health > News 05 December 2014 Many US schizophrenics getting wrong meds A new study indicates that almost 40 percent of newly diagnosed US schizophrenics are medicated inappropriately. 0 Woman with two faces representing two different personalities. ~ Shutterstock Ask CyberShrink » Talk Heart to heart forum » 13 hidden signs of stress Regenerative medicine: replacing brain cells lost from stroke Improper drug treatment is given to nearly 40 percent of people who suffer their first episode of schizophrenia, according to a new study.As many as 4 in 10 seeking help after first episode are medicated inappropriately, researchers say.Read: What is schizophrenia?Because schizophrenia is typically a chronic illness, early treatment can have an effect on a patient's long-term outcome, the researchers noted. Inconsistent with recommendationsInappropriate drug treatment can lead to problems that cause patients to stop taking their medication.The study included 404 people who suffered a first episode of schizophrenia. They were seen at community treatment centres in 21 states.Of those patients, 159 received drug treatment that was inconsistent with recommendations for first-episode patients.Read: Mental illness in SA – are we getting the help we need?Some of the more common mistakes the researchers cited included:Prescribing more than one anti-psychotic drug.A higher-than-recommended dose of an anti-psychotic.The use of psychotropic medication other than an anti-psychotic.Prescribing an antidepressant without justification.The use of the anti-psychotic olanzapine, which is especially likely to cause major weight gain but was often prescribed at high doses.The study appears in The American Journal of Psychiatry.Dosing for first-episode patients differs"Academic research has found that optimal medication selection and dosing for first-episode patients differs from that for patients with longer illness durations. The challenge to the field is to get this specialised knowledge to busy clinicians who are treating patients," study author Dr. Delbert Robinson, a psychiatrist at the Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, New York, said in a journal news release.Read: Large number of schizophrenics report happiness"Our finding that treatment differed based upon patients' insurance status suggests that in order to improve first-episode care we may also need to address treatment system issues," Robinson said. Read More:Links between schizophrenia and cannabis use OCD sufferers at greater risk of schizophrenia Dagga is more dangerous than previously thought Image: Portrait of girl with two faces from Shutterstock. Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved. More in Mental health Troubled childhood may boost bipolar risk More: Mental healthNews advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 0 comments Comments have been closed for this article. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... Other news Lifestyle Legal marijuana unlikely to tempt more kids Fitness Boosting muscle strength may improve memory Lifestyle Women catching up fast with male alcohol use Parenting Epidural better than 'laughing gas' for labour pain Parenting Infants should share parents' room to help prevent SIDS Lifestyle Blood for transfusion doesn't have to be fresh From our sponsors Keep an eye on your vision Which skin products are better, ‘medical grade’ or ‘over-the-counter’? Win 1 of 6 R5000 cash prizes Win a R2 000 Skin Renewal voucher Live healthier Exercise benefits for seniors » Working out in the concrete jungle Even a little exercise may help prevent dementia Here’s an unexpected way to boost your memory: running Seniors who exercise recover more quickly from injury or illness When sedentary older adults got into an exercise routine, it curbed their risk of suffering a disabling injury or illness and helped them recover if anything did happen to them. No relief for MS » Drug shows promise against MS in mouse study Vitamin D may slow multiple sclerosis Obesity in girls tied to higher MS risk Exercise may not lower women's risk of MS A Harvard study showed no evidence to support the idea that exercise lowers the risk of multiple sclerosis.