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J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2003 Aug;23(4):342-8.

Effectiveness of rapid initial dose escalation of up to forty milligrams per day of oral olanzapine in acute agitation.

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  • 1Lilly Research Laboratories, Eli Lilly and Company, Lilly Corporate Center, Indianapolis, IN 46285. robertbaker@Lilly.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Patients experiencing an acute decompensation of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder often present in an agitated state. Agitation presents a barrier to therapy, interrupting the typical physician-patient alliance and creating a disruptive, even hazardous, environment. Rapid assessment and effective treatment are necessary to manage agitation and, potentially, to shorten the time to recovery.

METHODS:

One hundred forty-eight acutely agitated patients received either: rapid initial dose escalation (RIDE) in which up to 40 mg of oral olanzapine was allowed on days 1 and 2, up to 30 mg on days 3 and 4, and 5 to 20 mg thereafter; or usual clinical practice (UCP) in which patients received 10 mg/d olanzapine plus up to 4 mg lorazepam on days 1 and 2, up to 2 mg on days 3 and 4, and olanzapine 5 to 20 mg/d thereafter. The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale-Excited Component (PANSS-EC: poor impulse control, tension, hostility, uncooperativeness, and excitement) measured at 24 hours was the primary measure. Secondary assessments of agitation and safety were also performed.

RESULTS:

Agitation improved significantly from baseline for both treatment groups; however, improvement with the RIDE strategy was superior to UCP. The RIDE group improvement was superior on the primary efficacy measure (PANSS-Excited) at 24 hours; it was superior on all agitation measures at the end of double-blind treatment. Both treatments were well tolerated, with no clinically significant differences in safety measures. Treatment was not limited by oversedation and attention improved from baseline in both groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study demonstrates the value of olanzapine in the treatment of acutely agitated patients. A new approach to olanzapine dosing that expands the initial dose range up to 40 mg/d may offer superior efficacy in rapidly and effectively controlling the symptoms of agitation.

Comment in

PMID:
12920409
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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