Olanzapine Better than Haloperidol For Treatment Of Schizophrenia

In the April issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry it was reported that a study of approx. 2,000 patients with schizophrenic pathology show that therapy with Olanzapine is more effective than therapy with Haloperidol, and safer. Dr. Gary D. Tollefson of Lilly Research Laboratories in Indianapolis, Indiana, and others report the results of a double-blind trial comparing the "atypical antipsychotic" Olanzapine with the dopamine D2 antagonist, Haloperidol. Patients at 174 sites in Europe and North America were randomized to receive one drug or the other for 6 weeks. Patients treated with Olanzapine demonstrated "superior" clinical results on the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale as well as on secondary outcome measures, including mean change in positive and negative symptoms, comorbid depression, and extrapyramidal symptoms, Dr. Tollefson said. In addition, he reports, "Olanzapine was associated with significantly fewer discontinuations of treatment due to lack of drug efficacy or adverse events. Substantially more Olanzapine-treated patients (66.5%) than Haloperidol-treated patients (46.8%) completed 6 weeks of therapy." Dr. Gary D. Tollefson and the other researchers conclude that their data "...represent an encouraging advance for the victims of psychotic disorders."

Am J Psychiatry 1997;154:457-465.

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