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Can J Psychiatry. 1999 Mar;44(2):164-7.

Optimal haloperidol dosage in first-episode psychosis.

Author information

1
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Clarke Division, Toronto, Ontario. Joey.Wong@utoronto.ca

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine optimal doses of haloperidol for the treatment of a first episode of psychosis.

METHOD:

A 4-week prospective controlled clinical trial with "optimal dose" defined as the dose at which either of the following occurs: 1) significant improvement, defined as a 15% or greater decrease in scores on the Positive And Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), or 2) the onset of extrapyramidal symptoms. Beginning with 2 mg daily, haloperidol was increased weekly to 5 mg, 10 mg, and finally 20 mg daily until either 1) or 2) occurred.

RESULTS:

Optimal doses for the 36 subjects were 2 mg daily for 15 subjects, 5 mg daily for 11, 10 mg daily for 7, and 20 mg daily for 3. On average, subjects whose optimal dose was 2 mg daily showed the greatest improvement. Among the 27 subjects evidencing clinical response to treatment, 20 had plasma haloperidol levels below 5 ng/ml.

CONCLUSION:

Many people suffering a first psychotic episode respond to haloperidol doses well below levels in common use.

PMID:
10097837
DOI:
10.1177/070674379904400207
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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