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Am J Psychiatry. 1999 Sep;156(9):1374-9.

Risperidone in treatment-refractory schizophrenia.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, CA 90073, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical safety and efficacy of risperidone compared to haloperidol in patients with treatment-refractory schizophrenia.

METHOD:

Sixty-seven medication-unresponsive subjects were randomly assigned to treatment with risperidone (N = 34) or haloperidol (N = 33). After a 3-7 day-placebo washout period, there was a 4-week, double-blind, fixed-dose comparison trial that was followed by a 4-week, flexible-dose phase. Measures of clinical change were quantified by standard psychopathologic and neuromotor instruments.

RESULTS:

Risperidone demonstrated clinical efficacy superior to that of haloperidol on the total Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) after the first 4 weeks of treatment. Risperidone did not show any advantage over haloperidol after an additional 4 weeks. Overall improvement on the BPRS at 4 weeks was significantly better for the risperidone group (24%) than for the haloperidol group (11%). Risperidone-treated subjects were significantly less likely than haloperidol-treated subjects to require concomitant anticholinergic medication after 4 weeks (20% versus 63%); they also had significantly les observable akathisia (24% versus 53%) and significantly less severe tardive dyskinesia. Baseline characteristics that correlated significantly with risperidone response were positive symptoms, conceptual disorganization, akathisia, and tardive dyskinesia.

CONCLUSIONS:

Risperidone was better tolerated and more effective in a subset of patients with treatment-refractory schizophrenia. Positive psychotic symptoms and extrapyramidal side effects at baseline appear to be powerful predictors of subsequent response to risperidone.

PMID:
10484947
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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