Ziprasidone may control unresponsive schizophrenia

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Ziprasidone, sold under the trade name Geodon, is well tolerated by patients and shows long-term efficacy as maintenance therapy for patients with schizophrenia who have not responded to other drugs, according to the results of a clinical trial published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

Dr. Antony D. Loebel, of Pfizer Inc. in New York, and colleagues studied patients with a diagnosis of treatment-resistant schizophrenia based on DMS-III-R criteria who were treated for 1 year with ziprasidone, a second-generation atypical antipsychotic.

Sixty-two patients had participated in an earlier 12-week study in which 32 patients received ziprasidone and 30 received chlorpromazine.

Of the 41 patients (73 percent) who responded to ziprasidone or chlorpromazine, 30 were able to maintain this response on ziprasidone.

“Over 1 year of continuous treatment, ziprasidone was well tolerated, with a relatively low rate of discontinuation, and was associated with favorable effects on weight and metabolic parameters,” the researchers report. There were no changes in movement disorder measures.

Further studies are warranted to confirm these preliminary findings, Loebel and colleagues conclude.

SOURCE: Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, September 2007.