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The effectiveness of antipsychotic monotherapy in schizoaffective disorder is limited, and further constrained by safety concerns.
We aimed to compare the efficacy, tolerability and safety profile of the new pharmaceutical, olanzapine, with haloperidol.
Data were assessed from 300 DSM – III – R schizoaffective subjects from a larger double-blind prospective international study. Subjects were randomly allocated to six weeks of olanzapine (5–20 mg) or haloperidol (5–20 mg) treatment; responders were followed for up to one year of double-blind, long-term maintenance therapy.
Olanzapine-treated patients achieved a statistically significant greater improvement than haloperidol-treated patients on overall measures of efficacy, including clinical response. Significantly fewer olanzapine patients left the study early, and fewer adverse events were observed among those receiving olanzapine. During maintenance, olanzapine-treated patients continued to experience additional improvement, with fewer EPS but more weight gain than those on haloperidol.
Olanzapine demonstrated substantial advantages over the conventional antipsychotic haloperidol in the management of schizoaffective disorder.
Three studies compared olanzapine and haloperidol given orally in maintenance therapy for schizophrenia and related psychoses.
Data were from double-blind extensions of acute studies. The subjects met criteria for schizophrenia, schizophreniform disorder or schizoaffective disorder. Subjects had responded to acute therapy (Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale total score decreased $ 40% from baseline (Studies 1, 2, and 3) or was $ 18 (Studies I and 2)) and were out-patients at their last acute phase visit. Relapse was defined as hospitalisation for psychopathology. Subjects treated with olanzapine in the three studies were pooled to form the olanzapine group and subjects treated with haloperidol were pooled to form the haloperidol group.
Olanzapine-treated subjects experienced less relapse (P=0.034). The Kaplan-Meier estimated one-year risk of relapse was 19.7% with olanzapine and 28% with haloperidol.
Olanzapine was superior to haloperidol in the maintenance therapy of schizophrenia and related psychoses.
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