Is olanzapine better than haloperidol in resistant schizophrenia? A double-blind study in partial responders

A. Carlo Altamura, I. Velonà, R. Curreli, E. Mundo, D. Bravi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: To compare the efficacy and safety of olanzapine and haloperidol in partial-responder paranoid schizophrenic patients. METHOD: In this multi-centre, double-blind study, 28 patients with DSM-IV paranoid schizophrenia were randomized to receive 14 weeks treatment with either olanzapine or haloperidol at flexible doses. The pre- and post-treatment assessment included the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS), the CGI, the Simpson-Angus Rating Scale, and the Barnes Akathisia Rating Scale. RESULTS: The two treatment groups showed similar improvement on the BPRS positive symptoms subscale, while the improvement of BPRS negative symptoms subscale was significant only in the olanzapine group (ANOVA with repeated measures, group effect: F=5.89, P=0.023). Only the olanzapine-treated patients experienced a significant improvement of negative symptoms as rated by the SANS (ANOVA with repeated measures, group effect: F=6.81, P=0.016). No significant differences were found between the two groups on the Simpson and Angus Rating Scale scores, but a significant difference was found in the Barnes Akathisia Rating Scale scores: no patient in the olanzapine-treated group experienced akathisia, while a few patients in the haloperidol-treated group showed this side-effect, thus resulting in a significant group effect detected by the ANOVA (F=4.23, P=0.05). CONCLUSIONS: These preliminary results suggest that olanzapine is superior to haloperidol in the treatment of partial-responder paranoid schizophrenic patients, and also shows a better tolerability profile. Further investigations, including different diagnostic subgroups, are still needed to further clarify the clinical profile of olanzapine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-111
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Negative symptoms
  • Olanzapine
  • Pharmacological treatment
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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