Mental health

Role of depot antipsychotic medication in patients requiring long-term antipsychotic treatment for psychotic disorders

Question 5: In individuals with psychotic disorders (including schizophrenia) who require long term antipsychotic treatment, what is the safety and role of depot antipsychotic medication?

Management of psychosis and bipolar disorders

  • Population: adults with psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia
  • Interventions: depot antipsychotic drugs
  • Comparison: oral antipsychotics drugs
  • Outcomes:
    • symptoms severity
    • prevention of relapses
    • disability and functioning
    • adverse effects of treatment (movement disorders, weight gain)
    • quality of life
    • mortality
    • treatment adherence
    • users' and families' satisfaction with care.


Individuals on long term antipsychotic treatment should be given adequate information and encouraged to make a choice between oral and depot preparations, especially with the view to improve adherence.
Strength of recommendation: STANDARD

Individuals on antipsychotic medicines (oral and depot preparations) should be monitored regularly for symptom relief, functioning and any adverse effects.
Strength of recommendation: STRONG

Depot antipsychotics should not be routinely prescribed to women with psychotic disorders (including schizophrenia), who are planning a pregnancy or pregnant or breastfeeding because there is relatively little information on their safety.
Strength of recommendation: STRONG

Evidence profile