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March 3, 2004

Olanzapine vs Haloperidol for Treatment of Schizophrenia

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2004;291(9):1064. doi:10.1001/jama.291.9.1065-a

To the Editor: Dr Rosenheck and colleagues1 concluded that the atypical antipsychotic drug olanzapine was unlikely to be more cost-effective than haloperidol.2 Furthermore, the literature suggests that there is no significant difference between these atypical drugs in terms of either efficacy or effectiveness.3 Atypical antipsychotic drugs differ among themselves and from conventional antipsychotics in terms of their tendency to produce endocrinological adverse effects.3,4 The study by Rosenheck et al found that a significant portion of the added costs of olanzapine was related to weight gain, an endocrine adverse effect. Thus, the authors' results suggest that future cost-effectiveness analyses of atypical antipsychotics should take endocrinological adverse effects into account.

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