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Haloperidol versus chlorpromazine for schizophrenia

Schizophrenia can be a long‐term, chronic illness with a worldwide lifetime prevalence of about one per cent. The most common treatment of this condition is using antipsychotics. In the developed world there is a large choice of antipsychotics including some that are quite expensive, whereas in the developing world the older and cheaper drugs such as haloperidol and chlorpromazine are still used for the majority of the people. In addition, most new medications are tested for their effectiveness against haloperidol or chlorpromazine. This review looks at clinical trials comparing people with schizophrenia who have been treated with either chlorpromazine or haloperidol, in tablet form or as injection into muscle but not by long acting injection. There were 14 trials identified containing a total of 794 people. The trials varied in length from ‘several hours’ to 36 weeks but only two were six months or longer. The most recent trial was published in 1994, and the earliest 1962. As diagnosis of schizophrenia has changed over the years, some people in the early trials may have diagnoses other than schizophrenia by today’s criteria.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2013

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