A comparative study of beneficial effects of Olanzapine and sodium valproate on aggressive behavior of patients who are on methadone maintenance therapy: A randomized triple blind clinical trial

Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran. .
European review for medical and pharmacological sciences (Impact Factor: 1.21). 04/2013; 17(8):1073-81.
Source: PubMed


Previous studies have shown a high prevalence of aggressive behavior in abstinent heroin users who are on methadone maintenance therapy (MMT) compared with healthy controls. Some studies suggest that olanzapine and valproate may be effective in managing aggressive behavior and preventing a relapse of substance misuse in patients on methadone regime.
The aim of the present study was to evaluate and compare the effectiveness of these medications in the management of aggressive behavior and prevention of relapse in patients maintained on methadone.
Two hundred and one patients on MMT were randomized into two treatment groups of olanzapine (2.5-15 mg) and sodium valproate (600-1000 mg). Both groups were treated for 12 weeks. Patients visited the clinic twice weekly to receive medication. Patients' urine samples were screened for trace of any illicit substances on each visit. Upon each consultation, the clinicians, using overt aggression scale-modified version (OAS-M), assessed the degree and frequency of aggressiveness in each patient.
Fifty three patients completed the trial. Both medications significantly reduced the overt aggression and subscales of irritability, aggression and suicidality. Improvement was more pronounced in the group treated with olanzapine. The mean percentages of positive urine samples for morphine, cannabis and methamphetamine abuse for the 12 weeks period of the study were not significantly different between the two groups.
Both olanzapine and sodium valproate are useful as an adjunctive agent in reducing aggressive behavior in heroin dependent individuals who are on MMT, but the beneficial effect of olanzapine was greater than sodium valproate in this respect.

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