After antipsychotics were introduced in the 1950s, adherence to oral formulations of the medication was discovered to be a critical issue. Researchers begin working on a solution which ultimately led to the first long acting injectable anti-psychotic (LAI AP) medication finding its way onto the pharmacy landscape in 1966. Fluphenazine Enanthate was the first, and, fluphenazine decanoate the second. In 1981, Haldol Decanoate was made available in Europe. In 1986 it was available for administration in the United States of America.
Initial Resistance to Long Acting Injectables Despite Solid Data
Results from clinical trials showed a dramatic reduction in schizophrenia morbidity. Yet, even with honest data the medical profession did not receive LAIs for schizophrenia as warmly due to fears surrounding increased side effects. In particular, they were concerned about lack of efficacy and issues surrounding psychiatrists and patients rights/ feelings. This lead to further potential concerns over medical legal problems. Yet, with each subsequent survey and more honest data suggesting the benefits of LAIs, they became more wide spread.
Second generation APs promised claims of less severe side effects and better tolerance. The introduction of these new SGA‘s led to a decline in the use of LAI FGAs. Yet, it soon became apparent that even with atypical characteristics, better adherence did not occur. This is where the best of both worlds come into play as new or LA I SGA’s allow prescribers to give patients the potential advantages of an SGA with an alternate form of delivery.
Long Acting Injectable and Long term Care Pharmacy
So why are long acting injectables important in particular regards to individuals who suffer from a mental illness like schizophrenia? Well, many of these patients are familiar with the adverse effects of anti-psychotic drugs and are apprehensive about taking them. Couple that to the reality many schizophrenic patients don’t believe they have an illness and the and the result is a high non-adherence rate.
This makes schizophrenia more pronounced and harder to manage. Long acting injectable antipsychotics are a proven pharmacologic strategy for treatment. If relapse is an issue, a long acting injectable can remove nonadherence from the equation thus allowing a prescriber to effectively establish a therapeutic regimen and determine its effectiveness for the patient.
Usually taken in 2 to 4 week intervals, long acting injectables are a substitute for taking a daily pill. Since prescribers have been dealing with non-adherence to anti-psychotic oral medication since the 1950s, long acting injectables are more than just an answer to a cry for help. They are a solution to a long-standing problem which ultimately adds value to the patient and increases the quality of life no matter where they find themselves on the patient continuum of care spectrum.
Have Questions About Long Acting Injectables? Janus Can Help
At Janus, we offer several different types of long acting injectables. If you have trouble remembering to take your medication, are unable to swallow your medicine, or would simply like to try a different form of administration, contact us today. We will give you a list of common anti-psychotic medications we dispense as long acting injectables you can share with your physician. Show the list to your doctor and ask if a long acting injectable is right for your situation. At Janus, our goal is to relieve the stress of medication management for both the prescriber and the customer. Contact us and start a conversation today. We can help.
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