Echocardiography and clozapine: is current clinical practice inhibiting use of a potentially life-transforming therapy?

1 March 2017

Introduction

Approximately 33% of patients with schizophrenia are treatment-refractory, yet clozapine remains underused, even though it is the most effective treatment. One barrier is routine echocardiography, which in Australia is performed before clozapine initiation, six months afterwards and then annually. Elsewhere, such as in New Zealand, routine echocardiography is generally restricted to the initiation of therapy, while in the UK, it is not routine practice at all. Importantly, the latest guidelines from The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) suggest routine annual echocardiography adds little to the detection of cardiomyopathy. We therefore review the evidence for routine echocardiography. This is particularly relevant to general practitioners (GPs) as they become more involved in managing patients on clozapine through shared-care arrangements.

Publication Details

Format: 
Resource Type: 
Volume: 
46
Issue: 
3
Pagination: 
169-170
License type (if applicable): 

Cite this document

Suggested Citation

Gail Robinson, Steve Kisely, Dan Siskind, Robert J. Flanagan, Amanda J. Wheeler, 2017, Echocardiography and clozapine: is current clinical practice inhibiting use of a potentially life-transforming therapy?, Australian Family Physician, viewed 30 March 2017, <http://apo.org.au/node/74243>.

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