Background: Childhood-onset schizophrenia is a rare but severe form of the disorder that is often treatment-refractory. In this study, the efficacy and adverse effects of clozapine and haloperidol were compared for children and adolescents with early-onset schizophrenia. Methods: Twenty-one patients (mean [±SD] age, 14.0±2.3 years) with onset of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Revised Third Edition-defined schizophrenia that began by age 12 years and who had been nonresponsive to typical neuroleptics participated in the study. Patients were randomized to a 6-week double-blind parallel comparison of clozapine (mean [±SD] final dose, 176±149 mg/d), or haloperidol, (16±8 mg/d). Results: Clozapine was superior to haloperidol on all measures of psychosis (P=.04-.002). Positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia improved. However, neutropenia and seizures were major concerns. To date, one third of the group has discontinued using clozapine. Conclusions: Clozapine has striking superiority for positive and negative symptoms in treatment-refractory childhood-onset schizophrenia. However, due to possibly increased toxic effects in this pediatric population, close monitoring for adverse events is essential.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Archives of General Psychiatry|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1996|