Combined Antirelapse Therapy in Patients with Schizoaffective Disorder: A Prospective Cohort Study

Michael A. Nekrasov, PhD, ScD¹; Dmitriy F. Khritinin, PhD, ScD²; Maria A. Sumarokova, PhD²; Zhanna R. Gardanova, PhD, ScD³; Alexander V. Esin²; Elena P. Shchukina, PhD²

¹Medicine Institute, I.S. Turgenev Oryol State University, Orel; ²I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow; ³Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University, Moscow, the Russian Federation

Corresponding author: Prof. Michael A. Nekrasov, PhD, ScD Department of psychiatry and neurology, Medicine Institute, I.S. Turgenev Oryol State University. Oryol, Russia, E-mail:

Published: June 20, 2016.  DOI: 10.21103/Article6(2)_OA5


Background: In most studies, patients with schizoaffective disorder (SAD) are often combined into one group along with schizophrenia patients or less commonly with those suffering from affective disorders, which makes it difficult to obtain data about the peculiarities of SAD treatment. Articles dedicated to SAD treatment in the interictal period are rare.

Methods and Results: The prospective cohort study was conducted from 2011 to 2015. The study involved 86 patients diagnosed with SAD according to ICD-10. Patients received neuroleptics (NLs) as antirelapse therapy for 2 years (NL therapy); then mood stabilizers (MSs) were added to the antirelapse treatment (NL+MS therapy). The results of this combined therapy with MSs were evaluated after 2 years of treatment. Our results suggest that the use of combination therapy that includes antipsychotics and MSs leads to maintenance of a higher quality remission. Remission becomes more prolonged and affective swings less pronounced, resulting in improved quality of life in SAD patients. Improving the quality of remission can be attributed to the following characteristics of the combined therapy: a) the use of lower doses of neuroleptics; b) a reduction in the frequency and severity of mood swings; and c) an increase in patient compliance.

Conclusion: The use of combined pharmacotherapy including antipsychotics and MSs produces a longer, high-quality remission. The inclusion of MSs in the scheme of treatment increases the patient adherence to a medication regimen. The use of MSs in combination therapy reduces affective fluctuations, thereby increasing the probability of maintaining remission with complete symptom relief.


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