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Quetiapine, A Novel Antipsychotic: Experience in Elderly Patients With Psychotic Disorders

J Clin Psychiatry 1999;60:292-298
10.4088/JCP.v60n0504

Background: This uncontrolled trial examines the safety and effects of quetiapine, a new atypical antipsychotic, in elderly patients with psychotic disorders.

Method: This is an ongoing, multicenter, open-label, 52-week trial of quetiapine in men and women at least 65 years old with DSM-IV psychotic disorders. Patients received quetiapine, 25 to 800 mg/day. Assessments included the 18-item Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), the Clinical Global Impressions scale (CGI), the Simpson-Angus Neurologic Rating Scale, and the Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS).

Results: An interim analysis was performed at 12 weeks with results from 151 patients. The median total daily dose was 100 mg/day. The most common adverse events were somnolence (32%), dizziness (14%), postural hypotension (13%), and agitation (11%). Extrapyramidal symptom adverse events occurred in 6% of patients. Mean Simpson-Angus Scale total score showed significant (p < .0001) improvement at endpoint; there were no changes in AIMS scores. BPRS total and CGI-Severity of Illness scores showed significant (p < .0001 and p < .01, respectively) improvement at endpoint. No clinically important effects were reported for hematologic or liver function test variables; small changes in mean free levorotatory thyroxine (T4) levels were not associated with substantial changes in mean thyroid-stimulating hormone concentration. Mean corrected QT interval (QTc) was unchanged, but a slight increase in mean heart rate was noted.

Conclusion: Quetiapine was well tolerated in a nonrandomized study of elderly patients and was associated with improvement in symptoms.