Substance use

Medications for dual diagnosis

What is dual diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis is the term used for people with both a mental illness like schizophrenia and substance use disorders. Studies targeting this population often investigate outcomes relating to both diagnoses, such as symptoms, substance use, social function, quality of life, and cognitive outcomes.

What is the evidence for medications for dual diagnosis?

Moderate to low quality evidence suggests olanzapine was superior to perphenazine, quetiapine, risperidone, and ziprasidone for overall symptoms in people with a dual diagnosis. Olanzapine was superior to perphenazine, quetiapine, and ziprasidone for positive symptoms, and olanzapine was superior to perphenazine, risperidone, and ziprasidone for negative symptoms.

The remaining evidence on antipsychotics and other agents (e.g. mazindol, lamotrigine, antidepressants, anti-craving agents, or disulfiram) for symptoms, substance use or other outcomes was based on small sample sizes, so no conclusions can be drawn.

October 2020

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Last updated at: 5:00 am, 30th August 2021
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Fact Sheet Technical Commentary
Tags:  Dual diagnosis

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