Gabapentin adjunctive to risperidone or olanzapine in partially responsive schizophrenia: an open-label pilot study
Departments of Psychiatry and Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Background: There is a great need in the treatment of schizophrenia for a drug, or drug combinations, to improve clinical response with fewer serious side effects. The objective of this study was to explore the therapeutic effects and tolerability of the anticonvulsant gabapentin as an adjunctive in the treatment of patients with partially responsive schizophrenia.
Methods: Ten consenting patients with a confirmed Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision diagnosis of schizophrenia were identified. All patients failed at least one 12-week treatment trial with risperidone or olanzapine. Gabapentin was added to ongoing antipsychotic treatment with olanzapine or risperidone for eight weeks. The primary outcome measure was the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). Other scales included the Calgary Depression Scale (CDSS) and the Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS). Repeated-measures multivariate analysis of variance was utilized to examine changes in outcome measures over time with adjunctive treatment with gabapentin.
Results: There was a significant drop in the PANSS and CDSS scores at endpoint (week 8). There were no significant differences between the two treatment groups with regard to changes in all outcome measures or in AIMS score. The adjunctive treatments were well tolerated and side effects were transient.
Conclusion: Gabapentin could be used successfully as an adjunct to novel antipsychotics in partially responsive schizophrenia. However, large controlled studies are needed to examine the effectiveness of gabapentin in psychotic disorders.
Keywords: schizophrenia, refractory, adjunctive treatment, gabapentin, risperidone, olanzapine
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