The Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE) study for schizophrenia was designed to independently evaluate the effectiveness of antipsychotic treatment in “real-world” patients. To assess the effectiveness of the conventional antipsychotics compared to the atypicals as well as the differences among the atypicals, patients were randomized to one of four atypical antipsychotics (olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone, ziprasidone) or a representative conventional antipsychotic (perphenazine). Effectiveness was defined by time to discontinuation and duration of successful treatment. Time to “all-cause” discontinuation reflects both efficacy (ability of a drug to reduce symptoms) and safety/tolerability. Phase I revealed discontinuation rates ranging from 64% for olanzapine to 82% for quetiapine.
Differences among the medications may be important in the selection of a drug for a particular patient. Physicians should involve the patient in choosing their medication by inquiring about the patient's past experience with medications and side effects, educating the patient on the risk-benefit ratio, and considering the patient's preference. To demonstrate how results of the CATIE study can contribute to the knowledge of practicing clinicians, this monograph presents a representative clinical case patient and illustrates how the CATIE safety and efficacy data has important implications for the patient.