Clozapine: Understanding Benefits & Barriers

MAR. 08, 2022

Mar. 24, 2021, 4–5:30 p.m. ET

NAMI Ask the Expert Webinar welcomes Robert O. Cotes, M.D., Director of the Clinical & Research Program for Psychosis at Grady Health, Emory University School of Medicine, who will discuss the unique and potentially life-changing benefits of clozapine, an antipsychotic medication used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia.

Currently, the American Psychiatric Association guidelines recommend a trial of clozapine if a person still has symptoms despite two prior trials of other antipsychotic medications — and these trials have proven to be effective (20-30% of people affected by schizophrenia may benefit from clozapine). However, despite its effectiveness, clozapine is underutilized in the U.S. and often treated as a “last resort” option.

In this presentation, Dr. Cotes will help individuals and families better understand clozapine’s benefits, side effects and recent changes to the FDA’s Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy regarding the drug. He will also empower participants to advocate for themselves and family members who may benefit from a trial of clozapine in their own care.

After the presentation, NAMI’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ken Duckworth will moderate a Q&A session. This session will be recorded and posted to our website in the days following the webinar. All registrants for this webinar will automatically receive a link by email to view the recorded session once it is available. A typed transcription of the audio will also be available online within one week of the webinar.

 

 

Read the Transcript

 

Our Expert

Robert Cotes, M.D.Robert O. Cotes, M.D.

Robert O. Cotes, M.D., is an Associate Professor at Emory University School of Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He attended West Virginia University School of Medicine then completed his psychiatry residency at Dartmouth.

He is Director of the Clinical & Research Program for Psychosis at Grady Health System, which comprises of two clinical programs: 1) PSTAR Clinic (Persistent Symptoms: Treatment, Assessment and Recovery) and 2) Project ARROW (Achieving Recovery through Resilience, Optimism, and Wellness). The PSTAR Clinic provides evidence-based, recovery-oriented care for individuals with persistent symptoms of psychosis, specializing in the use of clozapine. Project ARROW is a coordinated specialty care team for people experiencing first episode psychosis, offering comprehensive, person-centered care using a multidisciplinary approach.

Under the Grady Psychosis Program, Dr. Cotes is the Principal Investigator for multiple research studies focused on treatment options for psychosis. He serves as Psychiatrist Expert for the American Psychiatric Association’s SMI Adviser initiative.

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