Early use of clozapine for poorly responding first-episode psychosis.
ABSTRACT Although most patients treated for first-episode schizophrenia will experience considerable improvement with initial antipsychotic therapy, a subgroup experiences significant ongoing positive symptoms. Clozapine has unique efficacy in improving treatment-resistant patients with chronic schizophrenia, but its role in the treatment of first-episode patients remains unclear. A standardized treatment algorithm was implemented in our First Episode Psychosis Program, with patients receiving 2 trials with 2 second-generation antipsychotics (olanzapine, quetiapine, or risperidone at low, medium, and high doses), followed by a trial of clozapine as early as 25 weeks into the start of their treatment. Patients progress along the algorithm according to their response as defined by clinical rating scales. To date, 123 patients with first-episode schizophrenia have been treated according to the algorithm. Of these, 93 (76%) responded to the first trial of an antipsychotic. Only 7 (23%) of the remaining 30 patients responded to a second antipsychotic trial; 13 of the remaining 23 individuals agreed to a trial of clozapine. We compared the clozapine-treated group with a group of 9 patients who refused clozapine and chose to continue the same antipsychotic treatment as before. Subjects who received clozapine experienced a mean Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale change of 19 points (from 53.5 to 34.5) and a change in the Clinical Global Inventory severity rating from 5.4 to 3.5 (from severely ill to mildly ill); those who refused clozapine had a 2-point increase in mean Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (from 53 to 55) and a 0.6-point increase in the mean Clinical Global Inventory severity rating from 5.4 to 6 (remaining markedly to severely ill). In clinical practice, there is a hesitancy to switch individuals to clozapine given its side effect profile and position as treatment of "last resort." The present findings suggest that clozapine may have an important role in the early treatment of first-episode patients whose psychosis does not remit with other second-generation antipsychotics during the first months of treatment.
- SourceAvailable from: PubMed Central[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: To review the metabolic consequences of second-generation antipsychotics in youth and current monitoring and intervention guidelines for optimal treatment.Adolescent Health, Medicine and Therapeutics 01/2014; 5:171-82.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: We report or a young adolescent diagnosed with early-onset schizophrenia and subsequently treated with clozapine. Clozapine is often used as the last line of treatment for patients with schizopirenia, even in the paediatric population. This report highlights the usefulness and challenges of using clozapine in adolescents with schizophrenia.South African Journal of Psychiatry 03/2011; 17(1):29-31. · 0.52 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Catatonia is a state of apparent unresponsiveness to external stimuli in a person who is apparently awake and which occurs in children, adolescents, and adults and is characterized by a variety of symptoms and signs of impairment of the expression of voluntary thoughts and movements. Antipsychotics should be used with care as they can worsen catatonia and are the cause of neuroleptic malignant syndrome, a dangerous condition that can mimic catatonia and requires immediate discontinuation of the antipsychotic. The use of atypical antipsychotics to treat catatonia remains anecdotal, owing to concerns that they may worsen catatonic symptoms. We describe the case of good treatment response in low doses of clozapine in a adolescent with first psychotic episode –catatonic feature. Keywords : Catatonia; adolescent; clozapine; neuroleptic malignant syndrome.International Neuropsychiatric Disease Journal,ISSN: 2321–7235. 03/2015; 3(2).