Effects of quetiapine and olanzapine in patients with psychosis and violent behavior: a pilot randomized, open-label, comparative study
Gabriella Gobbi,1,2 Stefano Comai,1 Guy Debonnel1,2,†
1Neurobiological Psychiatric Unit, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University and McGill University Health Center, 2Institut Philippe Pinel, Department of Psychiatry, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada
†Guy Debonnel passed away on November 4, 2006
Objective: Patients suffering from psychosis are more likely than the general population to commit aggressive acts, but the therapeutics of aggressive behavior are still a matter of debate.
Methods: This pilot randomized, open-label study compared the efficacy of quetiapine versus olanzapine in reducing impulsive and aggressive behaviors (primary endpoints) and psychotic symptoms (secondary endpoints) from baseline to days 1, 7, 14, 28, 42, 56, and 70, in 15 violent schizophrenic patients hospitalized in a maximum-security psychiatric hospital.
Results: Quetiapine (525±45 mg) and olanzapine (18.5±4.8 mg) were both efficacious in reducing Impulsivity Rating Scale from baseline to day 70. In addition, both treatments reduced the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, and Clinical Global Impression Scale scores at day 70 compared to baseline, and no differences were observed between treatments. Moreover, quetiapine, but not olanzapine, yielded an improvement of depressive symptoms in the items “depression” in Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale and “blunted affect” in Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. Modified Overt Aggression Scale scores were also decreased from baseline to the endpoint, but due to the limited number of patients, it was not possible to detect a significant difference.
Conclusion: In this pilot study, quetiapine and olanzapine equally decreased impulsive and psychotic symptoms after 8 weeks of treatment. Double-blind, large studies are needed to confirm the validity of these two treatments in highly aggressive and violent schizophrenic patients.
Keywords: schizophrenia, aggression, violence, impulsivity, atypical antipsychotics, depressive symptoms
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