Dose reduction of high-dose first-generation antipsychotics or switch to ziprasidone in long-stay patients with schizophrenia: A 1-year double-blind randomized clinical trial.

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Dose reduction of high-dose first-generation antipsychotics or switch to ziprasidone in long-stay patients with schizophrenia: A 1-year double-blind randomized clinical trial.

Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2018 Jul 16;:

Authors: Bogers JPAM, Schulte PFJ, Broekman TG, Moleman P, de Haan L

Abstract
Long-stay patients with severe schizophrenia are frequently treated with high doses of first-generation antipsychotics (FGA). Dose reduction or switching to ziprasidone may reduce the severity of negative symptoms and side effects. We investigated in a randomized double-blind trial whether a dose-reduction strategy to achieve an adequate dose of a FGA (5 mg/day haloperidol equivalents, n = 24) or switching to ziprasidone (160 mg/day, n = 24) in treatment resistant patients would decrease negative symptoms after 1 year of treatment. We found that negative symptoms did not change significantly in either condition. Positive symptoms, excited symptoms, and emotional distress worsened over time with ziprasidone, resulting in a significant difference between conditions in favour of FGA dose reduction. Relapse and treatment failure, defined as a prolonged or repeated relapse, occurred more often with ziprasidone than with FGA (45.8% versus 20.8%, and 25.0% versus 16.7%, respectively). Treatment with ziprasidone was superior for extrapyramidal symptoms. Our study establishes that lowering high FGA doses to an equivalent of 5 mg/day haloperidol or switching to ziprasidone is feasible in the vast majority of patients but does not improve negative or other symptoms. Neither FGA dose reduction nor switching to ziprasidone is an adequate alternative to clozapine for long-stay patients with severe treatment resistant schizophrenia.

PMID: 30025751 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]