Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Biol Psychiatry. 1999 Aug 1;46(3):365-73.

The course of depressive symptoms in predicting relapse in schizophrenia: a double-blind, randomized comparison of olanzapine and risperidone.

Author information

  • 1Lilly Research Laboratories, Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, Indiana 46285, USA.



Depressive symptoms are common during the course of schizophrenia and may carry prognostic relevance.


From a 28-week prospective, double-blind, randomized study of olanzapine and risperidone, a post hoc evaluation of changes on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) depression cluster (PDC) and the subsequent risk of relapse were analyzed by logistic regression.


Olanzapine was associated with a significantly higher categorical rate of improvement on the PANSS depression cluster (> or = 7 points) (p < .05). Although the baseline severity of depressive symptoms was not a significant predictor of relapse, the degree of acute (8-week) mood improvement on the PANSS depression cluster (but neither negative or positive symptom changes) was related to the probability of a subsequent psychotic relapse. Acute mood improvement with olanzapine was inversely related to a nonsignificantly lower risk of relapse. However, an opposite and significant relationship was observed among risperidone-treated subjects. Risperidone-treated subjects with a greater degree of acute mood change were both 3.58 times more likely to relapse than their risperidone counterparts who had experienced less mood improvement (p = .008) and 8.55 times more likely than olanzapine-treated subjects who had had similar mood improvements (p = .001).


These data suggest the underlying pharmacologic differences between the two drugs may bestow different rates of longer-term mood stabilization and relapse prevention. In a second series of analyses, worsening on the PANSS depression cluster in the 4 weeks or less preceding a clinical relapse was a significant prodromal predictor of relapse among all subjects. As a whole, subjects with a worsening on the PDC demonstrated a 1.77 times higher risk of a relapse during the subsequent 4 weeks (p = .001). Among this mood-worsening stratum, risperidone-treated patients were 3.51 times more likely to relapse in those next 4 weeks (p = .005) than their olanzapine counterparts. Future comparative drug studies in this area will further contribute to our understanding of the pathophysiology of mood change and its relationship to psychosis, including clinical relapse and how newer agents may differ in their respective delivery of long-term treatment outcomes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk