Onset of action of atypical and typical antipsychotics in the treatment of adolescent schizophrenic psychoses.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of our study was to assess the time to 'first improvement' associated with specific atypical (AAP) and typical (TAP) antipsychotic drugs in patients with early-onset schizophrenia and other related psychotic disorders.

METHODS: This study involved a systematic chart review of all patients receiving routine clinical care in our department, with selected AAPs and TAPs, for schizophrenic psychoses, between 1997 and 2007. During this period, our review identified 296 teenage patients (141 males, 155 females; mean age 16.0 ± 1.5 years). The time to first improvement could be estimated in 258 patients; of these, 195 patients (76%) had been treated with AAPs and 63 patients (24%) with TAPs. We found that most patients were taking risperidone (N = 96), followed by olanzapine (64 patients). Other patient numbers were as follows: ziprasidone (16 patients), quetiapine (12 patients), clozapine (7 patients), haloperidol (15 patients), perphenazine (28 patients), and sulpiride (20 patients).

RESULTS: The mean time to first improvement was 6.9 (± 4.2) days in the AAP group and 5.8 (± 3.5) days in the TAP group; the difference was significant at the trend level (p=0.063). With respect to individual drugs, the mean time to first improvement was 7.1 (± 4.1) days for risperidone, 6.7 (± 4.2) days for olanzapine, 6.5 (± 5.2) days for ziprasidone, 6.1 (± 4.4) days for quetiapine, 7.4 (± 3.0) days for clozapine, 5.2 (± 2.4) days for haloperidol, 5.9 (± 3.8) days for perphenazine, and 6.0 (± 3.9) days for sulpiride. Differences among drugs were not significant (p=0.680).

CONCLUSIONS: Analysis revealed a significant group level trend indicating that typical antipsychotic drugs have faster onsets of action than atypical antipsychotic drugs.

 Full text PDF