Concern about prolonged use of tranquilizing drugs has increased as the time they have been on the market has stretched into years. Whatever temporary effects such drugs might have on patients, there has been little systematic evaluation of the impact of continuing treatment indefinitely with them, or of the possibility of eliminating them if they seem to produce no results or if a substitute type of treatment is available.
Several studies have been done bearing on the results of long-term use of tranquilizers and subsequent withdrawal. Some studies9.11 indicate no appreciable difference between patients who continue on tranquilizers and those who do not. Other studies2,4,6,10 conclude that there is adjudged need to continue the use of tranquilizers with chronic schizophrenic patients, at least on an intermittent basis.8
The methodology differs in the various studies. Most of them1,4,9,10 substitute placebo for