Drug Therapy

Travel maintenance therapy treatment or therapy designed to maintain patients in a stable condition and to promote gradual healing or prevent relapse. It usually (but not always) refers to maintenance drug therapy (maintenance pharmacotherapy or prophylactic maintenance).

Drug therapy is generally divided into three phases acute, continuation, and maintenance roughly corresponding to intervals of 1 month, 6 months, and a year or longer. Patients who respond in the acute and continuation phases may be placed on maintenance pharmacotherapy in the hopes of preventing relapse.

Drugs that may be used for maintenance include methadone (see METHADONE MAINTENANCE THERAPY), buprenorphine, antipsychotics, lithium, and antidepressants. Prophylactic maintenance alone, however, does not eliminate relapse; for several conditions, evidence suggests that psychotherapy must also be included to minimize relapse. Although maintenance ther- Papy is often continued indefinitely, patients should be periodically reassessed to determine if such treatment is still necessary.

Drug Therapy

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