Olanzapine vs risperidone in the management of schizophrenia: a randomized double-blind trial in Australia and New Zealand

Oye Gureje, Wayne Miles, Nicholas Keks, David Grainger, Timothy Lambert, John McGrath, Pierre Tran, Stanley Catts, Allen Fraser, Harry Hustig, Scott Andersen, Ann Marie Crawford
Schizophrenia Research 2003 June 1, 61 (2-3): 303-14
Improved drug therapy for schizophrenia may represent the best strategy for reducing the costs of schizophrenia and the recurrent chronic course of the disease. Olanzapine and risperidone are atypical antipsychotic agents developed to meet this need. We report a multicenter, double-blind, parallel, 30-week study designed to compare the efficacy, safety, and associated resource use for olanzapine and risperidone in Australia and New Zealand. The study sample consisted of 65 patients who met DSM-IV criteria for schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or schizophreniform disorder. Olanzapine-treated patients showed a significantly greater reduction in Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) total, Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) total, and PANSS General Psychopathology scores at endpoint compared to the risperidone-treated patients. Response rates through 30 weeks showed a significantly greater proportion of olanzapine-treated patients had achieved a 20% or greater improvement in their PANSS total score compared to risperidone-treated patients. Olanzapine and risperidone were equivalent in their improvement of PANSS positive and negative scores and Clinical Global Impression-Severity of Illness scale (CGI-S) at endpoint. Using generic and disease-specific measures of quality of life, olanzapine-treated patients showed significant within-group improvement in most measures, and significant differences were observed in favor of olanzapine over risperidone in Quality of Life Scale (QLS) Intrapsychic Foundation and Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36-item instrument (SF-36) Role Functioning Limitations-Emotional subscale scores. Despite the relatively small sample size, our study suggests that olanzapine has a superior risk:benefit profile compared to risperidone.

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