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J Clin Psychopharmacol. 1999 Feb;19(1):45-50.

Characteristics and risk factors of acute dystonia in schizophrenic patients treated with nemonapride, a selective dopamine antagonist.

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  • 1Department of Neuropsychiatry, Hirosaki University School of Medicine, Japan.


The occurrence of acute dystonia was prospectively monitored in 39 schizophrenic patients (18 male and 21 female) treated with 9 to 27 mg/day of nemonapride, a selective dopamine antagonist, and the relationship of acute dystonia with characteristics of patients and plasma concentrations of the drug and prolactin was investigated. Twenty (51.3%) of 39 patients had dystonic reactions, the onsets of which occurred within 3 days after the initiation of treatment in 90% of dystonic patients. The incidence of acute dystonia was significantly higher in male than in female patients (77.8% vs. 28.6%, p < 0.05). Younger male patients (< or = 30 years) especially had an extremely high incidence of this side effect (91.7%). A positive correlation between prolactin response after 1 week of treatment and dystonia rating scores was found in male (Spearman rank correlation: r(s) = 0.606,p < 0.01) but not in female patients (r(s) = -0.378,p = not significant). These results suggest that young male patients have the highest risk of neuroleptic-induced dystonia. Prolactin response after 1 week of treatment as an index of dopamine blockade may reflect vulnerability to the development of acute dystonia at least in male patients treated with nemonapride.

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