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Effectiveness of Antipsychotic Treatments for Schizophrenia: Interim 6-Month Analysis From a Prospective Observational Study (IC-SOHO) Comparing Olanzapine, Quetiapine, Risperidone, and Haloperidol

J Clin Psychiatry 2004;65(3):312-321

Background: The Intercontinental Schizophrenia Outpatient Health Outcomes (IC-SOHO) study was designed to provide information regarding use and outcome of antipsychotic treatments in a large, diverse population in real practice settings.

Method: Outpatients with schizophrenia (ICD-10 or DSM-IV) who initiated or changed to a new antipsychotic entered this 3-year, naturalistic, prospective observational study. Four monotherapy treatment groups were defined according to the antipsychotic prescribed at baseline, namely olanzapine, risperidone, quetiapine, and haloperidol. Efficacy was assessed using the Clinical Global Impressions-Severity of Illness rating scale (CGI-S), inclusive of subscales for positive, negative, depressive, and cognitive symptoms. Tolerability was assessed by adverse event questionnaires and weight measurements. Six-month findings are described.

Results: At baseline, 5833 participants were prescribed monotherapy and the mean severity of illness was moderate to marked (CGI-S). At 6 months, olanzapine resulted in significantly greater improvements in overall, positive, negative, depressive, and cognitive symptoms compared with quetiapine, risperidone or haloperidol (p < .001). Improvements in overall, negative, and cognitive symptoms were significantly higher for risperidone compared with haloperidol (p < .001), whereas improvements across all symptoms were comparable for quetiapine and haloperidol. Extrapyramidal symptoms and tardive dyskinesia decreased compared with baseline in the olanzapine, quetiapine, and risperidone groups but increased in the haloperidol group (p < .001, likelihood of extrapyramidal symptoms with haloperidol compared with olanzapine, quetiapine, or risperidone). Sexual function adverse events were most prominent in the haloperidol and risperidone treatment groups. Weight change was significantly greater for olanzapine compared with the other antipsychotics (p < .001).

Conclusion: Our results support the previously reported positive impact of atypical antipsychotics, particularly olanzapine, in patients with schizophrenia.