Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia Are Improved by Paroxetine Added to Neuroleptics: A Pilot Study

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Letter to the Editor

Sir: Conventional antipsychotic drugs are highly effective in alleviating positive symptoms in schizophrenia, but they have little impact on primary negative symptoms such as apathy, social withdrawal, blunted affect, and motor retardation. Atypical neuroleptics could only bridge part of this treatment gap. In the 1970s, tricyclic and tetracyclic antidepressants were added to antipsychotic treatment in chronic schizophrenia, but none improved negative symptoms consistently. Since the early 1990s, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as fluvoxamine and fluoxetine have been added to neuroleptic treatment strategies on the assumption that negative symptoms might be associated with serotonergic dysfunction.

J Clin Psychiatry 2001;62(7):573