International journal of pharmaceutical compounding, Mar-Apr 2019
Schizophrenia is a serious, disabling, enduring, and relapsing mental illness which causes problems with the ability to think, feel, and perceive things clearly. One cause of relapse and readmission to a hospital is poor compliance with antipsychotic medication, often due to its adverse effects. Schizophrenia may also affect a person's insight, interfering with their ability to appreciate the benefit of taking medication long term. The relapse rate is significantly higher in those who have discontinued antipsychotic medication. Penfluridol is an unusual, potent, long-acting, first-generation, oral antipsychotic agent indicated for the treatment of chronic schizophrenia, acute psychosis, and Tourette syndrome. It may be considered a depot medication, as it is administered once a week. Despite this positive analysis, and the unique added value of this medication to psychotic, non-compliant patients, Janssen-Cilag, the sole manufacturer of penfluridol worldwide, decided to stop production in 2009. This decision forced many psychotic patients worldwide to abandon the once-a-week convenient treatment and to replace it with a daily, oral treatment or a depot injection. Because penfluridol is no longer commercially available, it has created an opportunity for compounding pharmacists worldwide to accept this challenge and offer this medication to psychiatrists because of its clinical therapeutics. For the past 5 years, penfluridol has been available to compounding pharmacists in Israel and has received favorable feedback from physicians and patients.