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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2005 Apr;178(4):514-23. Epub 2005 Jan 14.

Ziprasidone and haloperidol in the treatment of acute exacerbation of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder: comparison of intramuscular and oral formulations in a 6-week, randomized, blinded-assessment study.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Sterkfontein Hospital, P.O. Box 2368, Krugersdorp, South Africa, 1740. brook@global.co.za



Conventional intramuscular (IM) antipsychotics used in managing acute exacerbation of schizophrenia are associated with side effects such as acute dystonia.


To compare the efficacy and tolerability of sequential IM/oral ziprasidone with haloperidol in acute exacerbation of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.


In a 6-week, multicenter, parallel-group, flexibly dosed study, patients were randomized to ziprasidone (IM up to 3 days, then oral 40-80 mg, b.i.d.) or haloperidol (IM up to 3 days, then oral 5-20 mg/day). Assessments were rater-blinded.


At the end of IM treatment, patients receiving ziprasidone (n=427) showed significantly improved Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale Total (BPRS total) scores compared with those receiving haloperidol (n=138) [least-squares (LS) mean change -6.14 for ziprasidone versus -4.13 for haloperidol, P<0.0018]. At endpoint, there were no significant between-group differences in BPRS total scores. There was a significantly greater improvement in BPRS negative subscale scores in ziprasidone-treated patients, both at the end of IM treatment (LS mean change -1.15 for ziprasidone and -0.28 for haloperidol, P<0.0001) and at study endpoint (LS mean change -2.94 for ziprasidone and -2.24 for haloperidol, P<0.0001). Haloperidol-treated patients exhibited significantly greater increases in Extrapyramidal Symptom Rating Scale at end of IM treatment and at endpoint (P<0.0001). They also had significantly higher ratings on the Barnes Akathisia Scale (P<0.0001) and the Movement Disorder Burden Score (P<0.005), as well as higher incidences of movement disorder-related adverse events.


Sequential IM and oral ziprasidone offers important efficacy and tolerability advantages over haloperidol in acute schizophrenia.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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