n African Journal of Psychiatry - Withdrawing treatment as a diagnostic test - psychosis as an illustrative scenario : letter to editor




Response to treatment or to treatment withdrawal is commonly used in clinical practice to aid diagnosis. A specific scenario is where clinicians are faced with diagnostic uncertainty in patients who have previously displayed psychotic symptoms in the context of using psychoactive substances. In such cases, it may not be possible to retrospectively distinguish between schizophrenia and drug induced psychosis. Some clinicians may in certain circumstances consider placing patients on "diagnostic" antipsychotic-free periods, by withdrawing the antipsychotic drug in a controlled environment.


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