Two newer atypical antipsychotic medications were no more effective than an older conventional antipsychotic in treating child and adolescent schizophrenia and may lead to more metabolic side effects, according to a new study funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The study was published online ahead of print September 15, 2008, in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
"Schizophrenia and schizophrenia-related disorders are rare in childhood. But when they do occur, those afflicted generally have more severe symptoms and a worse prognosis than those who develop the disorder in adulthood," said NIMH Director Thomas R. Insel, M.D. "The newer atypical antipsychotics are often used to treat these children, but until now, it has been unclear how effective and safe they really are in children. The side effects of the newer medications should be factored into making treatment decisions."
The six-year, multisite Treatment of Early Onset Schizophrenia Study (TEOSS) included 116 youth between 8 and 19 years old, diagnosed with early onset schizophrenia spectrum disorder (EOSS). The TEOSS team randomly assigned the children to eight weeks of either olanzapine (Zyprexa) or risperidone (Risperdal)both new generation atypical antipsychoticsor to the older conventional antipsychotic molindone (Moban) plus benztropine, a medication often used to reduce side effects like uncontrolled shaking or tremor that can be associated with molindone. The children were monitored throughout the study by an NIMH oversight board to ensure their safety.
Response rates after eight weeks of treatment were comparable among the three medications50 percent of the children taking molindone improved, 46 percent taking risperidone improved, and 34 percent taking olanzapine improved. Children taking olanzapine or risperidone improved within the first two weeks, while the children on molindone improved within three week
|Contact: Colleen Labbe|
NIH/National Institute of Mental Health