Article

[Refractory schizophrenia].

Departamento e Instituto de Psiquiatria, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.
Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria (Impact Factor: 1.64). 11/2007; 29 Suppl 2:S41-7.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The aim of the present paper is to review the various aspects of refractory schizophrenia regarding issues such as definitions, clinical aspects, psychobiological correlates, pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment options and predictors of treatment response.
Medline search as well as articles of the authors.
Refractory schizophrenia affects at least one third of patients with schizophrenia and the best evidence shows that is monotherapy with clozapine remains the mainstay for the treatment of such condition. Antipsychotic polipharmacy is not supported by current evidence and recent clinical trials have shown that clozapine augmentation with antipsychotics has no benefit over placebo.

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    ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness affecting around 1% of adults with a high degree of morbidity and mortality. Affected individuals are at increased risk for unemployment, handicap, obesity, diabetes mellitus, hearth attack and suicide. Antipsychotic drugs are the best treatment for this disease, but about 20% of patients display drug resistance, or refractoriness, and may receive a special neuroleptic named Clozapine. Despite its superiority from other neuroleptics, only 30-60% of drug-resistant patients are responsive to clozapine. Clozapine's action results from interactions between dopaminergic and serotonergic neurotransmitter systems and since clozapine appears to exert its effect strongly through the serotonergic systems, alterations in serotonin synaptic levels may influence antipsychotic response. The serotonin transporter (5-HTT) is responsible for pre-synaptic re-uptake of serotonin, making this transporter a logical candidate gene for prediction of clozapine response and to increase understanding about mechanisms of refractoriness. Therefore, we investigated the influence of two polymorphisms in the 5-HTT gene (HTTLPR/rs25531 and VNTR Stin2) in clozapine response in a sample of 116 schizophrenic individuals of European descent from South-Brazil. Significant differences between responders and non-responders to clozapine were observed for the HTTLPR/rs25531 polymorphism. Nonresponders to clozapine showed a higher frequency of S'-allele (P = 0.01) and also were more likely to be S'/S' homozygous or S'/L' heterozygous than those who did respond (P = 0.04). After controlling for confounding variables, logistic regression analyses confirmed this association (OR = 3.15; 95% CI: 1.13-8.80). The observed association suggests that increased availability of extracellular serotonin concentrations at all synapses may reduce clozapine effect.
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    ABSTRACT: Clozapine is one of the most commonly used antipsychotic drugs in China. To date, few studies have investigated the patterns the prescription of clozapine nationwide. The present study examined these patterns in China in 2006 and identified the demographic and clinical characteristics associated with the use of clozapine. Using a standardized protocol and data collection procedure, we surveyed 5,898 patients with schizophrenia in 10 provinces with differing levels of economic development. Overall, clozapine had been prescribed for 31.9% (n=1,883) of the patients; however we found considerable variation among the 10 provinces. The frequency of clozapine use was highest in Sichuan (39.3%) and lowest in Beijing (17.3%). The mean daily dose of clozapine was 210.36±128.72 mg/day, and 25.1% of the patients were treated with clozapine in combination with other antipsychotics. Compared with the group not receiving clozapine, clozapine-user had been treated for longer durations and had experienced a greater number of relapses and hospitalizations. Furthermore, those in the clozapine-user had lower family incomes, were less able to seek psychiatric services, and more likely to be male and have a positive family history of schizophrenia. A multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that age, sex, professional help-seeking behaviors, duration of illness, economic status, educational level, and clinical manifestations were associated with the use of clozapine. Clozapine use is common in China. However, use of the antipsychotic varies among provinces, and demographic and clinical factors play important roles in the prescription of clozapine.
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction Clozapine is considered the gold standard for the treatment of patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia (TRS); however, randomized controlled trials (RCT) of olanzapine showed efficacy similar to clozapine in patients with TRS. METHODS: A systematic review was conducted comparing clozapine with olanzapine in patients with TRS. Meta-analyses were performed for single outcome measures. Response to treatment was measured by the percentage of responders, or mean change or endpoint values of psychotic symptoms scales. Effect sizes were shown as relative risks (RR), or standardized mean differences, with 95% confidence intervals. Findings Seven RCT were included, comprising 648 patients. Five meta-analyses were performed. Olanzapine and clozapine had similar effects on dropout rates (RR = 0.93, CI95% = 0.77-1.12), PANSS total endpoints (SMD = 0.21, CI95% = -0.04-0.46), and PANSS total mean changes (SMD = 0.08, CI95% = -0.01-0.027). Clozapine was superior to olanzapine for PANSS positive (SMD = 0.51, CI95% = 0.17-0.86) and negative (SMD = 0.50, CI95% = 0.16-0.85) subscales. There was a trend toward high doses of olanzapine producing higher effect sizes for this drug. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study suggest that clozapine is significantly more efficacious than olanzapine in improving positive and negative symptoms in TRS patients.
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