September 07, 2005

Ethnicity Affects Antipsychotic Response

Researchers have found that ethnicity may have an affect on one's response to antipsychotics. Those with black or mixed ethnicity in South Africa had a better response to antipsychotic medication than those of white descent in South Africa.

"Robin Emsley (University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa) and colleagues used the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) to assess the treatment response of 192 South African patients diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizophreniform disorder. These patients were divided into three groups according to ethnic origin: 50 black South Africans, 63 mixed descent South Africans, and 79 white South Africans" (PsychiatryMatters.MD).

The average PANSS scores for those who were black or mixed was significantly higher than it was for those who were white, at least in the initial PANSS test scores. After 6 weeks of treatment those of mixed descent had the most of a reduction in PANSS scores, black patients had the 2nd highest reduction in PANSS scores, followed by whites. Response rates to antipsychotic treatment followed similarly with 20 mixed descent people responding, 12 black individuals, and 7 white individuals.

The potential reasons could relate to environmental things like diet, body mass, or drug use. The researchers suggested that doctors take these findings into consideration when prescribing antipsychotics to individuals with schizophrenia. They believe that black and ethnically mixed individuals may require a lower dose of antipsychotics to treat their symptoms.

Original Source: Ethnic differences found for antipsychotic response. PsychiatryMatters.MD.

This research study was published in J Clin Psychiatry 2002; 63: 9–14.


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