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      Effectiveness of Antipsychotic Drugs in Patients with Chronic Schizophrenia

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          Abstract

          The relative effectiveness of second-generation (atypical) antipsychotic drugs as compared with that of older agents has been incompletely addressed, though newer agents are currently used far more commonly. We compared a first-generation antipsychotic, perphenazine, with several newer drugs in a double-blind study. A total of 1493 patients with schizophrenia were recruited at 57 U.S. sites and randomly assigned to receive olanzapine (7.5 to 30 mg per day), perphenazine (8 to 32 mg per day), quetiapine (200 to 800 mg per day), or risperidone (1.5 to 6.0 mg per day) for up to 18 months. Ziprasidone (40 to 160 mg per day) was included after its approval by the Food and Drug Administration. The primary aim was to delineate differences in the overall effectiveness of these five treatments. Overall, 74 percent of patients discontinued the study medication before 18 months (1061 of the 1432 patients who received at least one dose): 64 percent of those assigned to olanzapine, 75 percent of those assigned to perphenazine, 82 percent of those assigned to quetiapine, 74 percent of those assigned to risperidone, and 79 percent of those assigned to ziprasidone. The time to the discontinuation of treatment for any cause was significantly longer in the olanzapine group than in the quetiapine (P<0.001) or risperidone (P=0.002) group, but not in the perphenazine (P=0.021) or ziprasidone (P=0.028) group. The times to discontinuation because of intolerable side effects were similar among the groups, but the rates differed (P=0.04); olanzapine was associated with more discontinuation for weight gain or metabolic effects, and perphenazine was associated with more discontinuation for extrapyramidal effects. The majority of patients in each group discontinued their assigned treatment owing to inefficacy or intolerable side effects or for other reasons. Olanzapine was the most effective in terms of the rates of discontinuation, and the efficacy of the conventional antipsychotic agent perphenazine appeared similar to that of quetiapine, risperidone, and ziprasidone. Olanzapine was associated with greater weight gain and increases in measures of glucose and lipid metabolism. Copyright 2005 Massachusetts Medical Society.

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          Most cited references 29

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          A sharper Bonferroni procedure for multiple tests of significance

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            Practical clinical trials: increasing the value of clinical research for decision making in clinical and health policy.

            Decision makers in health care are increasingly interested in using high-quality scientific evidence to support clinical and health policy choices; however, the quality of available scientific evidence is often found to be inadequate. Reliable evidence is essential to improve health care quality and to support efficient use of limited resources. The widespread gaps in evidence-based knowledge suggest that systematic flaws exist in the production of scientific evidence, in part because there is no consistent effort to conduct clinical trials designed to meet the needs of decision makers. Clinical trials for which the hypothesis and study design are developed specifically to answer the questions faced by decision makers are called pragmatic or practical clinical trials (PCTs). The characteristic features of PCTs are that they (1) select clinically relevant alternative interventions to compare, (2) include a diverse population of study participants, (3) recruit participants from heterogeneous practice settings, and (4) collect data on a broad range of health outcomes. The supply of PCTs is limited primarily because the major funders of clinical research, the National Institutes of Health and the medical products industry, do not focus on supporting such trials. Increasing the supply of PCTs will depend on the development of a mechanism to establish priorities for these studies, significant expansion of an infrastructure to conduct clinical research within the health care delivery system, more reliance on high-quality evidence by health care decision makers, and a substantial increase in public and private funding for these studies. For these changes to occur, clinical and health policy decision makers will need to become more involved in all aspects of clinical research, including priority setting, infrastructure development, and funding.
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              Clozapine for the Treatment-Resistant Schizophrenic

               John Kane (1988)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                New England Journal of Medicine
                N Engl J Med
                Massachusetts Medical Society
                0028-4793
                1533-4406
                September 22 2005
                September 22 2005
                : 353
                : 12
                : 1209-1223
                Article
                10.1056/NEJMoa051688
                16172203
                © 2005
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