Treatment compliance is one of the most important factors in the course of antipsychotic therapy. Providing the fact that noncompliance or partial compliance with antipsychotic treatment is significant and may be found in even more than one half of patients, the use of long-acting injections of antipsychotics (LAI) becomes a more frequent form of treatment. The aim of the paper is to present the overview of studies indicating how the introduction of long-acting aripiprazole creates the new perspectives in antipsychotic treatment and how to initiate the treatment with this drug.
Aripiprazole is currently the only available antipsychotic drug showing partial agonism toward the D2 receptors. In clinical practice, this drug is characterised by lower propensity for extrapyramidal side-effects, sedation, weight gain, orthostatic hypotension, and cholinolytic symptoms in comparison to other antipsychotics. Aripiprazole LAI is indicated for maintenance treatment in adult patients with schizophrenia, who have been stabilised with oral aripiprazole treatment. The therapy with aripiprazole LAI should be initiated by injection of 400 mg and this dose should be repeated every month; this dose is considered the therapeutic one. After the first injection the oral supplementation with aripiprazole 10–20 mg/day for 14 days is needed.