Effectiveness and safety of antipsychotics in early onset psychoses: A long-term comparison
The effectiveness and safety of various antipsychotics was evaluated in a long-term study on 47 patients, 29 with schizophrenia and 18 with schizoaffective disorder, aged 10 to 17 years (mean 15.5) at onset. Follow-up ranged from 3 years (all 47 patients) to 11 years (19 patients). Data were collected on the following antipsychotics: haloperidol, risperidone, olanzapine, quetiapine, aripiprazole and clozapine. Cases with positive response were significantly more frequent with clozapine as compared to haloperidol, risperidone and olanzapine. Risperidone was significantly better than haloperidol at the 3-year follow-up. A comparison of the degree of clinical improvement evaluated with PANSS and CGI in patients treated with drugs in subsequent periods showed clozapine led to significantly greater improvement as compared to haloperidol, risperidone and olanzapine, and risperidone as compared to haloperidol. Data on long-term functioning significantly favored clozapine as compared to all the other drugs. Discontinuation due to side effects involved 20% patients with clozapine, lower percentage with the other drugs. The results of this study on early-onset schizophrenic and schizoaffective disorders confirm that even in the long-term, clozapine is more effective than haloperidol, risperidone and olanzapine. Despite a relevant incidence of adverse effects, clozapine seems to have unique effectiveness in treating children and adolescents with early-onset schizophrenic disorders.
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