n African Journal of Psychiatry - Effectiveness of antipsychotic drugs in first-episode schizophrenia and schizophreniform disorder : product news




The second-generation (atypical) antipsychotic drugs were introduced over a decade ago. Although they were intended to have greater efficacy and better tolerability (eg induction of motor side-effects) than the first-generation antipsychotics, their clinical effectiveness is still debated. In previous studies treatment response has been defined by the use of scales that measure the extent of psychopathology, and efficacy has been measured according to narrowly-defined criteria. A study was thus needed with the aim of measuring effectiveness which is a combination of efficacy and tolerability. Early-stage schizophrenia might also well respond differently to antipsychotic drugs. The EUFEST study then undertook with a pragmatic open randomized-controlled trial design to compare the effectiveness of second-generation antipsychotic drugs, with that of a low dose of haloperidol in first-episode schizophrenia. Funding was provided by AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Sanofi-Aventis.


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