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Friday 31 August 2007

Effectiveness, safety, and tolerability of ziprasidone for treating schizophrenia patients undergoing usual care: a 12-month, open-label, flexible-dose, naturalistic observational trial.

By: Ratner Y, Gibel A, Yorkov V, Ritsner MS.

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 2007 Oct;31(7):1401-9

OBJECTIVE: This is a first report from a long-term study aimed to evaluate efficacy, safety, tolerability, cognitive functioning, and quality of life outcomes during ziprasidone treatment of chronic schizophrenia patients in the "real-world". METHOD: Seventy clinically unstable schizophrenia patients with persistent symptoms or troublesome side effects were assigned to a 12-month, open-label, flexible-dose (40-160 mg/day), large-scale, naturalistic trial. Outcome measures were taken at baseline, 6, and 12 months, and included the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), the Clinical Global Impression (CGI-S) scale, the Global Assessment of Functioning Scale (GAF) scores, treatment-emergent adverse events, body weight, and drug attitude. RESULTS: Thirty-two patients fully completed the study protocol. A discontinuation of treatment for any cause occurred in 54.3% of patients; the mean time until discontinuation was 4.4 +/- 2.7 months. A discontinuation due to lack of clinical efficacy was more predominantly linked to patient perception (25.7%) than to physicians' conclusions alone (8.6%), adverse events (11.4%), and other reasons (8.6%). After controlling daily dose of ziprasidone, concomitant medications and sex, ANCOVA revealed improvement in PANSS factors, and global functioning among patients who had completed the study. Improvement in PANSS and GAF dimensions was evident at a 6-month visit, and it continued until the endpoint. When a cutoff of 20% improvement of PANSS total scores was used, the response rate among completers was 43.8%. Most common side effects were: fatigue, sleep disturbances, and headache. Ziprasidone did not appear to be linked to weight gain. CONCLUSION: This study suggests that ziprasidone may be beneficial for long-term treatment of schizophrenia patients in terms of severity of symptoms, and general functioning. Ziprasidone is well tolerated during the long-term treatment of chronic schizophrenia patients undergoing usual care.

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