Doctors in Japan have long prescribed a cocktail of several types of drugs to people with mental illnesses, often leading to various side effects.

But the practice of over-prescribing is facing a rethink, as evidenced by the recent publication of guidelines on how to reduce the number of prescription drugs for schizophrenia patients.

The National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry (NCNP) last week released the "evidence-based" guidelines on reducing the number and doses of antipsychotic drugs prescribed to patients with schizophrenia.