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Friday 01 June 2001

Ziprasidone, a new atypical antipsychotic drug.

By: Carnahan RM, Lund BC, Perry PJ.

Pharmacotherapy 2001 Jun;21(6):717-30

Although the introduction of antipsychotic drugs in 1954 was a breakthrough in the treatment of patients with schizophrenia, these agents have a number of adverse effects that limit effectiveness and compliance. The atypical antipsychotic drugs provide an improved tolerability profile, particularly in minimizing extrapyramidal side effects; however, they are associated with significant weight gain, which may be related to growing evidence linking the atypical agents with diabetes and hyperlipidemia. Ziprasidone, a new atypical antipsychotic drug, was demonstrated in clinical trials to be more efficacious than placebo and similar in efficacy to haloperidol in the treatment of schizophrenia. Like the existing atypical agents, ziprasidone has a rate of extrapyramidal side effects similar to that of placebo and does not cause significant elevations in prolactin levels. In contrast, ziprasidone has a low propensity for causing weight gain. For patients requiring an antipsychotic drug, ziprasidone represents a new treatment option with a limited adverse effect profile.

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