Older antipsychotic drugs have fewer side-effects

Older antipsychotic treatments should be used as the first line in the treatment of children and adolescents with schizophrenia, according to US research.

Newer antipsychotics were no more effective than conventional treatments and resulted in more metabolic side-effects.

The study included 116 patients aged eight to 19 diagnosed with early onset schizophrenia spectrum (EOSS) disorder.

They were treated with the atypical antipsychotics olanzapine or risperidone, or with the conventional antipsychotic molindone plus benztropine to control extrapyramidal side-effects.

Improvements were seen in 50 per cent of those taking molindone, 46 per cent of those taking risperidone and 34 per cent of those taking olanzapine. Average BMI increased by 2.2 in those on olanzapine and by 1.6 in those on risperidone. BMI did not change in the molindone group.

GPletters@haymarket.com

American Journal of Psychiatry Online

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