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Qual Life Res. 1999 Aug;8(5):417-26.

Olanzapine versus haloperidol in the treatment of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders: quality of life and clinical outcomes of a randomized clinical trial.

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Center for Health Outcomes Research, MEDTAP International, Bethesda, MD, USA.



Little information is available on the impact of the atypical antipsychotic olanzapine on quality of life (QOL). A 6-week, double-blind randomized multicenter trial, with a long-term extension, was conducted to evaluate the clinical efficacy and QOL of olanzapine and haloperidol in treating schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.


A total of 828 outpatients provided QOL data. Study patients were aged greater than 18 years with a DSM-III-R diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizophreniform disorder, or schizoaffective disorder and baseline BPRS (items scored on 0-6 scale) total scores, > or = 18 were randomized to 6 weeks of treatment with olanzapine 5 to 20 mg/day or haloperidol 5 to 20 mg/day. Patients entered a 46-week double-blind extension if they demonstrated minimal clinical response and were tolerant to study medication. The Quality of Life Scale (QLS) and SF-36 Health Survey were used to evaluate QOL.


During the 6-week acute phase, olanzapine treatment significantly improved BPRS total (p = 0.004), PANSS total scores (p = 0.043), QLS total (p = 0.005), intrapsychic foundations (p < 0.001) and interpersonal relations scores (p = 0.036), and SF-36 mental component summary scores (p < 0.001) compared with haloperidol. During the extension phase, olanzapine treatment significantly improved PANSS negative scores (p = 0.035) and improved QLS total (p = 0.001), intrapsychic foundations (p < 0.001), and instrumental role category scores (p = 0.015) versus haloperidol treatment. Significantly more haloperidol patients discontinued treatment due to adverse events during the acute and extension phases (p = 0.041 and p = 0.014, respectively). Changes in QLS total and MCS scores were associated with changes in clinical symptoms, depression scores and extrapyramidal symptoms.


Olanzapine was more effective than haloperidol in reducing severity of psychopathology and in improving QOL in patients with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. The QOL benefits of olanzapine, although modest, may be important for long-term treatment.

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