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J Clin Psychiatry. 2001 Aug;62(8):623-30.

Efficacy and safety of risperidone in the treatment of schizoaffective disorder: initial results from a large, multicenter surveillance study. Group for the Study of Risperidone in Affective Disorders (GSRAD).

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  • 1Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona, Spain.



An adequate therapy for psychotic disorders needs to be effective against mood as well as psychotic symptoms. Analyses of data from clinical trials of risperidone in schizophrenia and small open-label studies in mania suggest that risperidone may have this broad efficacy profile. We present data on a 6-week trial of risperidone for the treatment of schizoaffective disorder that was part of a larger, 6-month surveillance study of patients with affective disorders.


One hundred two patients suffering from schizoaffective disorder (DSM-IV or ICD-10) entered the trial. Inclusion criteria consisted of a current DSM-IV diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type; DSM-IV manic or mixed psychotic episode; and a Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS) score > 7 for a mixed episode (> 20 for a manic episode). Assessments included the YMRS, the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D), the 4-item Clinical Global Impressions (CGI) scale, and the UKU Side Effect Rating Scale subscale for neurologic side effects. For patients entering the study, open-label risperidone therapy was added to their existing regimens of mood-stabilizing treatments. Other antipsychotic drugs were not allowed.


Ninety-five patients completed the 6-week trial. At week 6, the mean +/- SD dose of risperidone was 4.7+/-2.5 mg/day. The mean scores on the assessment scales at baseline and week 6 (unless otherwise stated) were as follows: YMRS, 22.7 and 4.7, an improvement of 18.0 points (p < .0001); PANSS (at baseline and week 4), 74.1 and 54.2, an improvement of 19.9 points (p < .0001); HAM-D, 14.0 and 7.4, an improvement of 6.6 points (p < .0001); CGI (at baseline and week 4), 2.6 and 1.7, an improvement of 0.9 points (p < .0001). At week 4, most patients had shown improvement in symptom severity, and 9.3% were completely symptom-free. There were no statistically significant differences between baseline and week 4 in the severity of extrapyramidal symptoms as measured by the UKU. Risperidone was well tolerated; side effects were few and generally mild.


The results to date with risperidone indicate that it may have both antipsychotic and mood-stabilizing properties. Despite the limitations of the open-label design, the results indicate that risperidone is a safe and effective therapy in combination with mood-stabilizers for the treatment of patients with manic, hypomanic, and depressive symptoms of mixed episodes in schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type.

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