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.
World psychiatry: official journal of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) 02/2015; 14(1):94-6. DOI:10.1002/wps.20194 · 12.85 Impact Factor
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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.
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ABSTRACT: The goals of this study were to (i) estimate the rate of non-response to first-line treatment in first-episode schizophrenia, (ii) evaluate other outcomes associated with symptom non-response and (iii) identify demographic, baseline clinical and early treatment response predictors of non-response. This was a single-site, longitudinal cohort study assessing the effects of treatment with flupenthixol decanoate according to a standardised protocol over 12 months in patients with schizophrenia, schizophreniform and schizo-affective disorders. Of 126 patients who received at least one dose of study medication, 84 (67%) completed the study. Fifteen (12%) met our predefined criteria for non-response. Non-responders were younger and at baseline had more prominent disorganised symptoms, poorer social and occupational functioning, poorer quality of life for psychological, social and environmental domains, more prominent neurological soft signs (NSS) and lower body mass index. At endpoint, the non-responders were characterised by higher levels of symptomatology in all domains, poorer functional outcome, poorer quality of life and greater cognitive impairments. They also had more prominent NSS and lower body mass index. The strongest predictors of non-response were more prominent baseline NSS and poor early (7 weeks) treatment response. Results are consistent with a lower rate of refractoriness to treatment in first-episode schizophrenia compared with multi-episode samples. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.Human Psychopharmacology Clinical and Experimental 03/2015; DOI:10.1002/hup.2469 · 1.85 Impact Factor