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Schizophrenia Drug Got Bad Rap
Date:7/13/2009

et compared with other second-generation antipsychotic drugs. Additionally, monitoring schedules are a drawback that would be encountered with heightened use of clozapine, and physicians and other hospital staff might therefore be reluctant to initiate clozapine treatment."

The researchers suggest that restrictions on clozapine use were arbitrary. "Restrictions on use of clozapine and thioridazine have not been based on any evidence for their overall ratio of risk to benefit," Tiihonen wrote.

"Our results suggest that these instructions and recommendations [except for blood monitoring] might have caused thousands of premature deaths worldwide in patients who have been exposed to other antipsychotic drugs, which might be associated with increased mortality. In our opinion, such restrictions and recommendations should be based on solid scientific evidence for the safety of drugs. This example underscores the need for large nationwide databases to be used for surveillance of drug safety," they concluded.

The study appears online July 12 and in an upcoming print issue of The Lancet.

More information

Mental Health America has more about schizophrenia.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: The Lancet, news release, July 12, 2009


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