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Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009 Oct 7;(4):CD006627. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD006627.pub2.

Ziprasidone versus other atypical antipsychotics for schizophrenia.

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  • 1Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Technische Universität München Klinikum rechts der Isar, Moehlstrasse 26, München, Germany, 81675.



In many countries of the industrialised world second generation ('atypical') antipsychotics have become the first line drug treatment for people with schizophrenia. The question as to whether, and if so how much, the effects of the various new generation antipsychotics differ is a matter of debate. In this review we examined how the efficacy and tolerability of ziprasidone differs from that of other second generation antipsychotics.


To evaluate the effects of ziprasidone compared with other atypical antipsychotics for people with schizophrenia and schizophrenia-like psychoses.


We searched the Cochrane Schizophrenia Group Specialised Register (April 2007) and references of all identified studies for further trial citations. We contacted pharmaceutical companies and authors of trials for additional information.


We included all randomised, at least single-blind, controlled trials comparing oral ziprasidone with oral forms of amisulpride, aripiprazole, clozapine, olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone or zotepine in people with schizophrenia or schizophrenia-like psychoses.


We extracted data independently. For continuous data, we calculated weighted mean differences (MD) for dichotomous data we calculated relative risks (RR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) on an intention-to-treat basis based on a random-effects model. We calculated numbers needed to treat/harm (NNT/NNH) where appropriate.


The review currently includes nine randomised controlled trials (RCTs) with 3361 participants. The overall rate of premature study discontinuation was very high (59.1%). Data for the comparisons of ziprasidone with amisulpride, clozapine, olanzapine, quetiapine and risperidone were available. Ziprasidone was a less acceptable treatment than olanzapine (leaving the studies early for any reason: 5 RCTs, n=1937, RR 1.26 CI 1.18 to 1.35, NNH 7 CI 5 to 10) and risperidone (3 RCTs, n=1029, RR 1.11 CI 1.02 to 1.20, NNH 14 CI 8 to 50), but not than the other second generation antipsychotic drugs. Ziprasidone was less efficacious than amisulpride (leaving the study early due to inefficacy: 1 RCT, n=123, RR 4.72 CI 1.06 to 20.98, NNH 8 CI 5 to 50) olanzapine (PANSS total score: 4 RCTs, n=1291, MD 8.32 CI 5.64 to 10.99) and risperidone (PANSS total score: 3 RCTs, n=1016, MD 3.91 CI 0.27 to 7.55). Based on limited data there were no significant differences in tolerability between ziprasidone and amisulpride or clozapine. Ziprasidone produced less weight gain than olanzapine (5 RCTs, n=1659, MD -3.82 CI -4.69 to -2.96), quetiapine (2 RCTs, n=754, RR 0.45 CI 0.28 to 0.74) or risperidone (3 RCTs, n=1063, RR 0.49 CI 0.33 to 0.74). It was associated with less cholesterol increase than olanzapine, quetiapine and risperidone. Conversely ziprasidone produced slightly more extrapyramidal side-effects than olanzapine (4 RCTs, n=1732, RR 1.43 CI 1.03 to 1.99, NNH not estimable) and more prolactin increase than quetiapine (2 RCTs, n=754, MD 4.77 CI 1.37 to 8.16), but less movement disorders (2 RCTs, n=822, RR 0.70 CI 0.51 to 0.97, NNT not estimable) and less prolactin increase (2 RCTs, n=767, MD -21.97 CI -27.34 to -16.60) than risperidone.


Ziprasidone may be a slightly less efficacious antipsychotic drug than amisulpride, olanzapine and risperidone. Its main advantage is the low propensity to induce weight gain and associated adverse effects. However, the high overall rate of participants leaving the studies early limits the validity of any findings.

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