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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.



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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