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Quetiapine in relapsing schizophrenia: clinical efficacy and effect on monoaminergic parameters

  • F. M. M. A. van der Heijden (a1), W. M. A. Verhoeven (a1) (a2), D. Fekkes (a2), A. E. S. Sijben (a1) and S. Tuinier (a1)...



Tolerability, safety and effectiveness of quetiapine in an in-patient group with a relapse of schizophrenia and the possible role of plasma amino acid concentrations, 5-HT parameters and HVA in the prediction of response to treatment were investigated in an open-label baseline-controlled trial of 14 weeks in 21 hospitalized schizophrenic patients. Responders were defined as those patients who exhibit at least a 40% reduction of BPRS total scores. Secondary efficacy measures were the PANSS, the Clinical Global Impression (CGI)-severity scale and the MADRS. Extrapyramidal side-effects were evaluated with the AIMS. Other side-effects were monitored at regular intervals. Amino acids and the derived tryptophan and tyrosine ratios, as well as monoaminergic parameters, were assessed in plasma at baseline and at weeks 3, 6 and 14.


Treatment with quetiapine resulted in the predefined treatment effect in 10 out of the 17 patients who completed at least 4 weeks of treatment. Effect in responders was observed on all efficacy parameters, including lower MADRS scores. No extrapyramidal side-effects emerged. Clinical and biochemical parameters did not predict response to treatment.


This study demonstrates the moderate antipsychotic efficacy of quetiapine on preferentially positive symptoms in a group of relatively young schizophrenics. Some observed changes in biochemical parameters are discussed.


Corresponding author

Vincent van Gogh Institute for Psychiatry, Stationsweg 46, 5803 AC Venray, the Netherlands. Tel. 31 478527339; Fax: 31 478527110; E-mail:


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