Mental health

Duration of antipsychotic treatment in individuals with a first psychotic episode

Question 3: In individuals with a first psychotic episode with full remission, how long should antipsychotic drug treatment be continued after remission in order to allow for the best outcomes?

Management of psychosis and bipolar disorders

  • Population: adults with a first psychotic episode
  • Interventions: antipsychotic treatment discontinuation after remission
  • Comparison: maintenance antipsychotic treatment after remission
  • Outcomes:
    • symptoms severity
    • prevention of relapses
    • disability and functioning
    • adverse effects of treatment
    • quality of life
    • mortality
    • users' and families' satisfaction with care (including users and families involvement).


In individuals with a first psychotic episode with full and sustained remission, antipsychotic treatment should be continued for at least 12 months after the beginning of remission. Any further continuation of antipsychotic drug treatment should be based on clinical review preferably by a mental health specialist and taking into account the preferences of the individuals, in consultation with the family.
Strength of recommendation: STRONG

Evidence profile