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Tuesday 01 October 2002

Olanzapine vs. haloperidol in the treatment of elderly chronic schizophrenia patients.

By: Barak Y, Shamir E, Zemishlani H, Mirecki I, Toren P, Weizman R.

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 2002 Oct;26(6):1199-202

OBJECTIVE: Most of the data supporting the use of atypical antipsychotics (AA) is based on studies in young adult patients. The present study is an open-label naturalistic follow-up study of olanzapine treatment vs. haloperidol for elderly chronic schizophrenia patients. MEHTOD: 20 patients (mean age 72.7+/-5.9 years, mean disease duration 33.1+/-12.0 years) who met the DSM-IV criteria for schizophrenia were randomly assigned to olanzapine (n=10) or haloperidol (n=10) treatment during acute exacerbation. Primary outcome measure was rating on the Clinical Global Impression (CGI) scale and the Positive and Negative Symptom Scale (PANSS). RESULTS: Between-group differences were computed using analysis of covariance. PANSS Total score decreased from 84 at baseline to 65 after treatment with olanzapine while decreased only from 79 to 74 with haloperidol treatment (F= 6.66, P=.02). PANSS Negative subscale decreased from 19 at baseline to 15 with olanzapine treatment while increased (deteriorated) from 18 to 20 with haloperidol treatment (F=23.37, P=.0003). CGI decreased from baseline with both olanzapine and haloperidol treatments (1.1 vs. 0.4) but the decrease in the olanzapine group was significantly greater (F=4.63, P=.05). Mean weight increased in both groups but without statistical difference between groups. CONCLUSIONS: In elderly chronic schizophrenia patients, olanzapine treatment is superior to haloperidol in reducing negative symptoms as well as less induction of extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS).

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