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Atypical Antipsychotics for Treatment of Depression in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders

Collaborative Working Group on Clinical Trial Evaluations

Published: July 1, 1998

Article Abstract

Depression in schizophrenia may be partially responsible for the increased suicide rate in schizophrenicpatients, which is more than 20 times higher than that found in the general population. Affectivedisorders in patients with schizophrenia are associated with a poor outcome, an increased risk of relapse,and a high rate of suicide. There is evidence that atypical antipsychotics may contribute to a reduction insuicidality, and although the new drugs are marketed for the treatment of schizophrenia, their novel psychopharmacologiceffects suggest the possibility of other therapeutic applications. Recent studies of theefficacy of the novel antipsychotics found that these agents may produce an antidepressant effect inschizophrenia and may be used as either an adjunctive medication or an alternative to mood stabilizers inpatients with affective disorders.

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Volume: 59

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