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Sunday 01 December 2002

Maintaining symptom control: review of ziprasidone long-term efficacy data.

By: Schooler NR.

J Clin Psychiatry 2003;64 Suppl 19:26-32

Reducing the risk of relapse and maintaining symptom control are core goals in the long-term treatment of patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder because symptom control can allow patients and clinicians to focus on functional improvement. The atypical antipsychotic agents have gained widespread acceptance in this setting because they are at least as effective as the conventional antipsychotic agents, may offer an advantage in relapse prevention, and offer safety advantages, primarily a reduced liability for movement disorders. However, there are differences among the atypical agents that may affect both clinician choice and patient adherence to long-term therapy. Ziprasidone has shown long-term antipsychotic efficacy in comparisons with haloperidol, olanzapine, and risperidone, as well as efficacy in patients switched from another antipsychotic agent. This review examines symptom efficacy data for ziprasidone in long-term trials that lasted between 28 and 52 weeks. Antipsychotic medication is the foundation of long-term treatment of schizophrenia. Optimization of treatment for the individual patient requires consideration of symptom control, prevention of relapse, and possible long-term health consequences. Clinical trial data on ziprasidone's long-term efficacy provide a firm basis for selection of this agent.

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