Update on the management of symptoms in schizophrenia: focus on amisulpride
Ann M Mortimer
Department of Psychiatry, Hertford Building, The University of Hull, Cottingham Road, Hull HU6 7RX, United Kingdom
Abstract: Amisulpride is an atypical antipsychotic drug with a unique receptor pharmacology which is dose dependent. It is a standard treatment in dysthymia as well as in psychosis. Amisulpride is efficacious, effective and well tolerated in positive symptoms of schizophrenia: there is extensive evidence that it treats negative symptoms when given in low doses, although relative lack of EPS and an antidepressant effect may contribute. In first-episode patients amisulpride is an option, although there is little comparative work available. Amisulpride has the best evidence as an effective adjunct to clozapine treatment. Regarding intellectual function, amisulpride appears cognitive sparing but the clinical relevance of this remains obscure. There is evidence that amisulpride can improve social function but again there is little comparative work to demonstrate any particular advantages. Regarding the current conventional versus atypical antipsychotic controversy, amisulpride did better in switching studies and meta-analyses than in the single large pragmatic randomized trial reported to date. It is a versatile drug, and may offer advantages over other atypical antipsychotic drugs in the treatment of negative and depressive symptoms, and tolerability advantages such as the avoidance of weight gain. Essentially it rests with the treating clinician to employ a rational psychopharmacological approach towards the individual patient: there will be few circumstances in which amisulpride will not be a likely contender as a treatment choice.
Keywords: amisulpride, negative symptoms, clozapine, depression
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