A Study of the Impact of Cannabis on Doses of Discharge Antipsychotic Medication in Individuals with Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective Disorder
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Patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder have a high prevalence of comorbid cannabis use disorder (CUD). CUD has been associated with poorer outcomes in patients. We compared doses of antipsychotic medications at the time of discharge from hospital among inpatients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder with or without concurrent cannabis use. We reviewed the medical records of patients (N = 8157) with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder discharged from the hospital between 2008 and 2012. The patients were divided into two groups; those with urine drug tests positive for cannabis and those negative for cannabis. Doses of antipsychotic medications were converted to chlorpromazine equivalents. Bivariate analyses were done with Student’s t test for continuous variables and χ 2 test for categorical variables. Linear regression was carried out to adjust for potential confounders. Unadjusted analysis revealed that the cannabis positive group was discharged on lower doses of antipsychotic medication compared with the cannabis negative group (geometric mean chlorpromazine equivalent doses 431.22 ± 2.20 vs 485.18 ± 2.21; P < 0.001). However, the difference in geometric mean chlorpromazine equivalent doses between the two groups was no longer significant after adjusting for sex, age, race, and length of stay (geometric mean difference 0.99; 95 % CI 0.92–1.10). Though limited by lack of information on duration, amount and severity of cannabis use, as well as inability to control for other non-antipsychotic medications, our study suggests that cannabis use did not significantly impact on doses of antipsychotics required during the periods of acute exacerbation in patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.
KeywordsSchizophrenia Schizoaffective disorder Cannabis Chlorpromazine equivalent Discharge dose Antipsychotics
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
This study was retrospective in nature and for this type of study formal consent is not required. All the participants were de-identified and only aggregated data was used to analyze and report results.
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