A practical clinical trial comparing haloperidol, risperidone, and olanzapine for the acute treatment of first-episode nonaffective psychosis

Benedicto Crespo-Facorro, Rocío Pérez-Iglesias, Mariluz Ramirez-Bonilla, Obdulia Martínez-García, Javier Llorca, José Luis Vázquez-Barquero
Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 2006, 67 (10): 1511-21

OBJECTIVE: Randomized controlled drug trials have demonstrated that antipsychotic medication is effective to rapidly improve psychotic symptomatology in first-episode psychosis. However, these results may not be generalizable to routine clinical practice. We evaluated the effectiveness, tolerability, and safety of olanza-pine, risperidone, and haloperidol in individuals with first-episode nonaffective psychosis who are representative of clinical practice and who are treated in routine clinical settings.

METHOD: 172 patients participated in a practical clinical trial and were randomly assigned to haloperidol (N = 56), risperidone (N = 61), and olanzapine (N = 55). The mean modal daily doses were 5.4 mg/day for halo-peridol, 4 mg/day for risperidone, and 15.3 mg/day for olanzapine; 98.3% of subjects were drug naive at baseline. Data from clinical measures of treatment response and tolerability and safety data from the 6-week acute phase of a large epidemiologic and longitudinal (February 2001 to February 2005) intervention program of first-episode psychosis (schizophrenia spectrum disorders, DSM-IV criteria) are reported.

RESULTS: All 3 treatments showed similar effectiveness in reducing the severity of general, negative, and positive symptomatology after 6 weeks of treatment, as reported by mean change in total Clinical Global Impressions-Severity of Illness scale, Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms, and Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms scores between baseline and 6 weeks. The proportion of study subjects responding, defined as 40% or greater BPRS total score improvement from baseline, was 57.1% (N = 32 of 56) haloperidol, 52.5% (N = 32 of 61) risperidone, and 63.6% (N = 35 of 55) olanzapine, with no statistical differences among groups. The frequency of extrapyramidal symptoms (chi(2) = 24.519; p < .001) and concomitant anticholinergic medication use (chi(2) = 57.842; p < .0001) was greater with haloperidol than olanzapine or risperidone. Olanzapine-treated patients had significantly more weight gain compared with the haloperidol and risperidone groups (p < .001).

CONCLUSION: Relatively low doses of haloperidol, risperidone, and olanzapine are equally effective for the acute treatment of first-episode nonaffective psychosis under usual conditions of real clinical practice.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"