Concomitant psychotropic medication use during treatment of schizophrenia patients: Longitudinal results from the CATIE study

Miranda Chakos, Javendra K. Patel, Robert Rosenheck, Ira D. Glick, Mark B. Hamner, Del D. Miller, Andre Tapp, Alexander Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objective: This study is a post hoc analysis of additions of antidepressants, anxiolytics, and sedative/hypnotics in treatment of patients randomized to antipsychotic treatment in the CATIE study, which recruited a chronic, "real world" schizophrenia sample and followed patients for up to eighteen months. We examined baseline predictors of initiation, time until initiation, and duration of treatment with antidepressants, anxiolytics, and sedative/hypnotics in CATIE study participants. Methods: Psychotropic medication use by 1,449 CATIE study participants was documented at each study visit. Baseline demographic and clinical predictors of initiation, of time to initiation, and of duration of treatment of Concomitant Psychotropic Medications (CPMs) in each category (antidepressant, anxiolytic, and sedative/hypnotics) were identified through multiple regression analyses. Results: Initiation of new CPMs post baseline by CATIE clinicians was moderately frequent, with 14.6% of patients receiving antidepressants, 13.7% receiving anxiolytics, and 11.2% receiving sedative/hypnotics. Predictors of antidepressant initiation (14.6% of group) were being female or white, and having a prior diagnosis of depression or symptoms of depression at baseline. Patients with higher positive symptom scores and younger patients were started on antidepressants sooner. Duration of antidepressant treatment was longer in patients with less education and in those with a history of alcohol abuse/dependence. Predictors of anxiolytic initiation (13.7% of group) were not being of African-American race, being separated/divorced, younger age, higher body mass index, and akathisia. Time to anxiolytic initiation was shorter in patients who were separated or divorced and in patients with better neurocognitive functioning. Duration of anxiolytic treatment was shorter for African Americans and longer in patients with better instrumental role functioning. Predictors of sedative/hypnotic use (11.2% of group) were depressive symptoms and prior diagnosis of an anxiety disorder. Time to initiation of sedative/hypnotics was longer for those with depressive symptoms and shorter for those with a history of alcohol abuse/dependence. Conclusions: Sedative/hypnotics, anxiolytics, and antidepressants were commonly used CPMs in schizophrenia during the CATIE trial, where patients were being seen frequently and antipsychotic treatment was optimized. Randomized, controlled clinical trials examining adjunctive use of antidepressants, anxiolytics and sedative/hypnotics to target symptoms of anxiety, depression, and insomnia in patients with schizophrenia are needed to adequately address the efficacy of these interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-134
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Schizophrenia and Related Psychoses
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Antipsychotic
  • Concomitant medication
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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