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Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2008 Apr 1;32(3):726-32. Epub 2007 Nov 23.

A placebo controlled study of the propentofylline added to risperidone in chronic schizophrenia.

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Psychiatric Research Center, Roozbeh Psychiatric Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Impaired activity of the purinergic system is a plausible common factor that could be responsible for many aspects of schizophrenia. Based on purinegic hypothesis of schizophrenia, pharmacological treatments enhancing adenosine activity could be effective treatment in schizophrenia. Propentofylline is a novel xantine derivative which is being developed for treatment of degenerative and vascular dementia. It enhances extracellular adenosine level via inhibition of adenosine uptake. The purpose of the present investigation was to assess the efficacy of propentofylline as an adjuvant agent in the treatment of chronic schizophrenia in an 8-week double blind and placebo controlled trial. Eligible participants in this study were 50 patients with chronic schizophrenia. All patients were inpatients and were in the active phase of the illness, and met DSM-IV-TR criteria for schizophrenia. Patients were allocated in a random fashion, 25 to risperidone 6 mg/day plus propentofylline 900 mg/day (300 mg TDS) and 25 to risperidone 6 mg/day plus placebo. The principal measure of the outcome was Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). Although both protocols significantly decreased the score of the positive, negative and general psychopathological symptoms over the trial period, the combination of risperidone and propentofylline showed a significant superiority over risperidone alone in the treatment of positive symptoms, general psychopathology symptoms as well as PANSS total scores. The means Extrapyramidal Symptoms Rating Scale for the placebo group were higher than in the propentofylline group over the trial. However, the differences were not significant. The present study indicates propentofylline as a potential adjunctive treatment strategy for chronic schizophrenia. Nevertheless, results of larger controlled trials are needed, before recommendation for a broad clinical application can be made.

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