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Timing of Acute Clinical Response to Fluphenazine

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Douglas F. Levinson*
Department of Psychiatry, Medical College of Pennsylvania at Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, 3200 Henry Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19129, USA
Hardeep Singh
Department of Psychiatry, Medical College of Pennsylvania at Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, 3200 Henry Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19129, USA
George M. Simpson
Department of Psychiatry, Medical College of Pennsylvania at Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, 3200 Henry Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19129, USA


The time course of clinical improvement was studied in 41 schizophrenic and schizoaffective acute in-patients treated for 28 days with 10, 20 or 30 mg/day of oral fluphenazine hydrochloride in a double-blind, randomised study. Significant improvement was seen in the four BPRS factors: thinking disturbance, hostile-suspiciousness, withdrawal–retardation and anxious depression. The first two of these factors were improved by day 5. Significant improvement was seen up to day 22 for three of the four factors, but without significant improvement during the last week (although scores continued to drop). The half of the sample showing greater overall improvement did not improve faster than the sample as a whole. These more improved subjects did not differ significantly from the less improved subjects in the thinking disturbance factor until day 15, suggesting that at least a two-week neuroleptic trial would be necessary to begin to differentiate more and less responsive patients. The longer-term course of improvement cannot be determined from these data. The withdrawal–retardation and anxious depression factors showed their greatest improvement later than the ‘positive’ symptom factors, suggesting that the former may improve as a result of change in the latter.

Copyright © Royal College of Psychiatrists, 1992 

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