Do we need sex-oriented clinical practice guidelines for the treatment of schizophrenia? [2020]

Purpose of review
Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) do not usually offer a sex-specific approach for the management of schizophrenia. With this narrative review, we aim to give an integrated and synthesized overview of the current state of knowledge regarding sex-specific aspects in schizophrenia and how this topic may be adapted in the development of CPGs.

Recent findings
Recent studies further suggest sex-specific differences in epidemiologic features, the course of illness, underlying pathomechanisms, response likelihood to antipsychotic medication and differences in tolerability. Beyond this, selective estrogen receptor modulators like raloxifene have shown beneficial effects on symptom severity and cognition in women with schizophrenia.

Sex-specific aspects can already be integrated in clinical guideline recommendations, especially with regard to efficacy and tolerability of antipsychotic treatment. Moreover, these aspects may be used for an individual risk-stratification. Recent studies provide evidence supporting the hypothesis of sex-specific modulation in schizophrenia and build the groundwork for sex-specific novel treatment options. However, there remains a clear need for additional studies focusing on women with schizophrenia to substantiate current findings.

Fernando, Piyumi; Sommer, Iris E.C.; Hasan, Alkomiet
Current Opinion in Psychiatry: May 2020 – Volume 33 – Issue 3
DOI: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000597