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J Clin Psychopharmacol. 1998 Aug;18(4):296-304.

An exploratory haloperidol-controlled dose-finding study of ziprasidone in hospitalized patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.

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  • 1Psychotic Disorders Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA.


Ninety patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder according to DSM-III-R criteria participated in this double-blind, exploratory, dose-ranging trial. After a single-blind washout period of 4 to 7 days, patients were randomly assigned to receive one of four fixed doses of the new antipsychotic, ziprasidone 4 (N = 19), 10 (N = 17), 40 (N = 17), or 160 (N = 20) mg/day or haloperidol 15 mg/day (N = 17) for 4 weeks. A dose-response relationship among ziprasidone groups was established for improvements in Clinical Global Impression Severity (CGI-S) score (p = 0.002) but not in Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) total score (p = 0.08). The intent-to-treat analysis of mean changes from baseline in the BPRS total, BPRS Psychosis core, and CGI-S scores demonstrated that ziprasidone 160 mg/day was comparable with haloperidol in reducing overall psychopathology and positive symptoms and was superior to ziprasidone 4 mg/day. Despite the small sample size and short duration of the trial, the improvement in CGI-S with both ziprasidone 160 mg/day and haloperidol 15 mg/day was statistically significantly greater than with ziprasidone 4 mg/day (p = 0.001 andp = 0.005, respectively). The percentage of patients classified as responders on both the BPRS total (> or = 30% improvement) and CGI-Improvement (score of 1 or 2) scales in the ziprasidone 160 mg/day group was similar to that in the haloperidol group and nonsignificantly greater than that in the ziprasidone 4 mg/day group. On all assessments of clinical efficacy, the improvements associated with ziprasidone 4 mg/day, 10 mg/day, and 40 mg/day were similar. Concomitant benztropine use at any time during the study was less frequent with ziprasidone 160 mg/day (15%) than with haloperidol (53%). Haloperidol was associated with a sustained hyperprolactinemia, unlike ziprasidone, where only transient elevations in prolactin that returned to normal within the dosing interval were observed. Ziprasidone was well tolerated, and the incidence of adverse events was similar in all groups. The results of this study suggest that ziprasidone 160 mg/day is as effective as haloperidol 15 mg/day in reducing overall psychopathology and positive symptoms of an acute exacerbation of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder but has a lower potential to induce extrapyramidal symptoms.

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