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Violence declines with medication use in some with schizophrenia
Date:6/30/2008

hen treatment for psychotic symptoms alone may not eliminate the risk of violence."

Researchers found that a number of factors contributed to violent acts independently of the person's schizophrenia. In addition to childhood conduct problems, substance abuse, being the victim of past violent acts, poverty and living with others, rather than alone, were all predictors of violent behavior.

Medication is the primary course of schizophrenia treatment to reduce symptoms and hopefully prevent violent acts. This study found that newer antipsychotics are as effective as older medications in reducing violence among people with schizophrenia.

"Contrary to the expectations of many clinicians and some research, this study found no benefit for newer medications over an older medication in reducing the risk for violence over the six-month study period," Swanson said. "In fact, one of the newer medications, quetiapine, performed worse than the first-generation drug perphenanize."

The CATIE study included 1,445 patients with schizophrenia who were randomly assigned to treatment with one of five antipsychotic medications, including olanzapine, perphenanize, quetiapine, risperidone, or ziprasidone.

"Antipsychotic drugs may help reduce violence risk, but they don't address all of the causes of violent behavior and they don't help at all if people can't or won't take the medication prescribed. We also need interventions to help patients stay engaged in treatment," Swartz added.


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Contact: Melissa Schwarting
melissa.schwarting@duke.edu
919-660-1303
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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