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Researchers have found that combining the anticonvulsant drug divalproex with either olanzapine or risperidone?2 commonly used antipsychotic drugs?significantly enhanced responses and shortened recovery time in patients suffering from acute psychotic episodes of schizophrenia, as reported in Neuro-psychopharmacology. Compared with patients treated only with 1 of the anti-psychotic drugs, those treated with the anticonvulsant as well showed an enhanced reduction of symptoms as early as the third day of therapy. Furthermore, the combination therapy was as well tolerated as either antipsy-chotic drug used alone, with no additional side effects.
?Our findings suggest that combination therapy ... can decrease the mental pain and suffering for many patients with schizophrenia and shorten the time they need to be in the hospital,? said lead investigator Daniel E. Casey, MD.