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J Psychopharmacol. 2010 Jul;24(7):973-80. doi: 10.1177/0269881109351965. Epub 2009 Dec 4.

Comparing effectiveness of risperidone with first-generation antipsychotic medications in patients with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders.

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Early Psychosis Intervention Programme, Institute of Mental Health/ Woodbridge Hospital, 539 747 Singapore.


This naturalistic retrospective study aims to compare effectiveness of a second-generation antipsychotic medication, risperidone, with first-generation antipsychotic medications (haloperidol and trifluoperazine) in an Asian population with first-episode schizophrenia-spectrum disorders. A total of 261 patients were assessed for time to discontinuation for any reason and specific reasons of discontinuation, controlling for baseline differences between groups. Some 90% of patients discontinued their antipsychotic medications before 18 months. Median time to discontinuation for any reason in risperidone was 69 days versus first-generation antipsychotic medications of 27 days. Specifically, the risperidone group had a longer time to discontinuation for any reason than haloperidol (HR = 0.61, p = 0.005) and trifluoperazine groups (HR = 0.63, p = 0.03), as well as a longer time to discontinuation due to intolerability of side effects than haloperidol (HR = 0.50, p = 0.008) and trifluoperazine groups (HR = 0.26, p = 0.001). There were no significant differences between medications for time to discontinuation due to lack of efficacy, patient's/family's decisions or other reasons. We conclude that there is a very high rate of discontinuation of the initial antipsychotic medications for various reasons, with risperidone having an overall longer time to discontinuation compared with first-generation antipsychotic medications.

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